Start - Biography - Part I - Part II  - Part III - 2001- today - Part IV - Inside The Actors Studio      


September 11 and the concequences - Mystic River & the Oscar - Wild times for Sean

 'I was brought up in a country that relished  fear-based religion, corrupt government,
and an entire white population living on stolen property that they murdered for
and that is passed on from generation to generation.'

But it was not only his work as an actor and director that put Sean Penn in the spotlight. Also in politics - even he is not a member of a political party doesn't call himself a pacifist - his attitude was controversial and he did not always get applause for it.
In the year 2002 it was quite clear, that the USA would begin a war against
Iraq. And Sean Penn did take a firm stand - in his own special way ...
October 2002 he caused a sensation with his bought ad-page in the Washington Post. In his article/ad he begs the President of the United States to 'help save America before yours is a legacy of shame and horror' (see
Washington Post ad - text or a copy of the original ad ).

After this, many of his collegues, journalists and fans believed, it would have been better, if he 'kept his advice on weapons to himself and sticks with the bombs he knows best - his movies ...'
But Sean Penn didn't care about other peoples opinion and started an interest for the country Iraq and the Middle East, which lasts until today (please see detailed information about Sean Penn and the Iraq here).

Sean Penn visits a children hospital in Baghdad

Sean Penn visiting a children hospital in Iraq


If the primary statement of the film is that if you have good abs it's OK to kill people, I pass.

When Sean Penn did an episode as director in the documentary film 110901 - SEPTEMBER 11 it seemed to be clear, that politics would dominate from now on his work in film. But far from it! He carried on to do remarkable parts in remarkable films.

The seats are reserved - will he show up?



Sean Penn with the Oscar for 'Mystic River'
Together with a fine cast such as Tim Robbin
s, Kevin Bacon, Laura Linney and Marcia Gay Harden he was Jimmy Markum in Clint Eastwood's Film Mystic River.
Most deserved in 2004 he won a Golden Globe for this part and - at last - an Oscar
(see Awards).
Surprisingly he even showed up at the Oscar-event - to demonstrate his respect for the director Clint Eastwood.





Coppa Volpi in Venice for '21 grams'

Then followed the highly acclaimed 21 grams.For his part Sean Penn won for the second time the 'Coppa Volpi' in Venice as Best Actor (see Awards )

Director of '21 grams', Alejandro González Inárritu, gladly remembers working with Sean Penn:
'Ninety-eight per cent of his work is so well done, that even his bad takes are, I will say, betten than the average good takes of any actor. (...) He has the intuition, he can smell what you want.'

Coppa Volpi - with the cigarette
always near by ...


Another highly acclaimed film was The Assassination of Richard Nixon. Sean Penn worked really hard for its realization and played himself the main part of the privately and socially failed Sam Bicke. For many Sean Penn Fans is this his best played figure (so far ...).




'If I one day win the lottery I would do three or four films all four or five years - not only one.
And there would be no more time for acting.'

For the thriller The Interpreter with Nicole Kidman director Sydney Pollack and his team had the great honour to be the first team to film in the UN in New York. For sure this made it quite easy for Sean Penn to say yes to the part of Tobin Keller ...

Sean Penn in 'All The Kings Men'
In 2004 then followed
All The King's Men with Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, James Gandolfini, Patricia Clarkson und Kathy Baker.
It's a remake of a film from 1949, after the well known novel by Pulitzer-winner Robert Penn Warren. Sean Penn plays charismatic Willie Stark, who, after a spectacular ascent as politician takes a plunge.


When the filming for All The King's Men was finished, Sean Penn said - as he does, once in a while - , that he now needs a longer break from acting. What a lie - thank you very much! Crossing Over, Milk, The Tree of Life and In Search of Captain Zero are all still to come ...Emile Hirsch und Sean Penn - Into the Wild

And what about Sean Penn's great love - directing? His latest project 'The Pledge' was now five years back ... so high time to be in the 'directing a movie every five years' schedule! So in February 2006 Sean Penn directed Into the Wild - an adaption of Jon Krakauers book, with Emile Hirsch in the leading role. The film was no blockbuster but nevertheless was loved from critics as well as filmfans all over the world. Into the Wild Website




"There are only 3 or 4 in each generation, the ones that define acting for 
themselves and redefine it for everybody else ..."

(Charles Bukowski)


Inside the actors studio - Sean Penn



  back to part II


  Part IV - Sean Penn in private