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|Also Known As:||Sean Justin Penn||Died:|
|Born:||August 17, 1960||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Burbank, California, USA||Profession:||actor, screenwriter, producer, director|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
2008, Penn returned to screens in the title role of "Milk," Gus Van Sant's biopic about influential gay activist and San Francisco politician, Harvey Milk. Only weeks after its release, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, which was soon followed by a win at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. He would go on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Milk."From there, Penn played former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson, whose CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), is outed for political reasons by George W. Bushâ¿¿s administration in Doug Limanâ¿¿s hailed political thriller "Fair Game" (2010). He went on to reunite with Terrence Malick for the reclusive directorâ¿¿s existential drama, "The Tree of Life" (2011), where he played an adrift older man who reminisces about life with his father (Brad Pitt) in the 1960s. Later that year, he delivered another offbeat performance, this time playing a retired goth rocker who looks for his dead fatherâ¿¿s Auschwitz tormentor in Italian director Paolo Sorrentinoâ¿¿s comic drama "This Must Be the Place" (2011). Of course, Penn did not go very long without being the subject of tabloid headlines. In...
2008, Penn returned to screens in the title role of "Milk," Gus Van Sant's biopic about influential gay activist and San Francisco politician, Harvey Milk. Only weeks after its release, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, which was soon followed by a win at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. He would go on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Milk."
From there, Penn played former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson, whose CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), is outed for political reasons by George W. Bushâ¿¿s administration in Doug Limanâ¿¿s hailed political thriller "Fair Game" (2010). He went on to reunite with Terrence Malick for the reclusive directorâ¿¿s existential drama, "The Tree of Life" (2011), where he played an adrift older man who reminisces about life with his father (Brad Pitt) in the 1960s. Later that year, he delivered another offbeat performance, this time playing a retired goth rocker who looks for his dead fatherâ¿¿s Auschwitz tormentor in Italian director Paolo Sorrentinoâ¿¿s comic drama "This Must Be the Place" (2011). Of course, Penn did not go very long without being the subject of tabloid headlines. In 2010, after finalizing his divorce with Wright early that year, he caused an uproar in the British media for his remarks about colonialism directed at the United Kingdom over the ongoing dispute with the Falkland Islands. But Penn did display his humanitarian side by co-founding the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which helped thousands of victims from the catastrophic earthquake in 2010 and led to his appointment as Haitiâ¿¿s Ambassador-at-Large in 2012, becoming the first non-Haitian to ever hold the post.
Penn continued his screen career with a key role as real-life mobster Mickey Cohen in "Gangster Squad" (2013), then co-starred as a photojournalist in Ben Stiller's romantic-adventure fantasy "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (2013). His next screen role came in the French thriller "The Gunman" (2015), in which he starred opposite Javier Bardem and Jasmine Trinca.screen to play a drifter whose paranoia increases when he becomes stranded in a desert town in Oliver Stone's "U-Turn" (1997). Penn's open criticism of Stone's talent raised eyebrows, but when he vocalized his desire to work with famously infrequent film director Terrence Malick, the director responded by giving Penn a headlining role in his adaptation of "The Thin Red Line" (1998). Opening at the same time as Malick's WWII saga was the film version of Rabe's "Hurlyburly," an ensemble piece dominated by Penn's powerhouse performance as a Hollywood agent permanently wired on coke and weed. He won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Actor for this lesser-seen effort.
Despite rumblings from the set that Penn did not want to be there, the actor gave a winning performance as the brash, mostly unlikable jazz guitarist at the center of Woody Allen's Depression-set comedy, "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999), a role that garnered his second Academy Award nomination as Best Actor and marked his second no-show at the festivities. Finally setting aside pronouncements that he was going to retire from acting at any moment, Penn remained active before the cameras with roles in Phillip Haas' adaptation of Somerset Maugham's "Up in the Villa" (2000), Julian Schnabel's art-house rendering of Cuban p t and novelist Reinaldo Arenas' "Before Night Falls" (2000) and Kathryn Bigelow's "The Weight of Water" (2000). He returned to the director's chair with "The Pledge" (2001), a thriller starring Jack Nicholson that earned respectful reviews. Later that year, Penn garnered a third Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his work as a mentally-challenged man seeking custody of his young daughter (Dakota Fanning) in "I Am Sam," a surprisingly treacly and audience-pandering effort from the generally edgy Penn.
Lest Penn's followers fear that this clichÃ©d, heart-tugging melodrama signaled a shift towards mainstream Hollywood, the dyed-in-the-wool outsider reasserted his position by launching a series of political commentaries on the Bush administration and its threat to invade Iraq. He began by taking out costly full page ads â¿¿ open letters, essentially â¿¿ in The Washington Post and The New York Times which begged the president to "help save America before yours is a legacy of shame and horror." The eerily prescient statement was followed by the actor's visit to Iraq in December of 2002 and a publishing of his journalistic observations in his local newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle. In the meantime, Penn returned to his ferocious onscreen territory at the invitation of Clint Eastwood, who directed Penn in the Boston-set crime drama "Mystic River" (2003), where he played a man consumed with rage over his daughter's murder and enlists childhood friends (Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins) in the homicide investigation. Penn's trademark intensity was finally recognized with wins from the Golden Globes as well as the Academy Awards, though his first visit to the Oscars was not without feather-ruffling drama, as Penn's defense of Jude Law (following a criticism in jest by host Chris Rock) was picked up as further evidence of the actor's exhausting seriousness.
Penn delivered yet another virtuosic big screen turn in "21 Grams" (2003), where he played a dying professor who receives a heart transplant that consumes him with guilt. That role also resulted in a flurry of nominations and wins on the festival circuit and accolades from many film critics. Penn topped himself yet again with "The Assassination of Richard Nixon" (2004), in which he played an emotionally and socially disconnected furniture salesman whose tenuous grip on sanity slips away when he plots to highjack an airliner and crash it into the Nixon White House. In 2005, Penn made a journalistic visit to Iran and again reported on his layman's observations for The Chronicle, and followed with a guest speaker spot at the "Out of Iraq Forum" hosted by the Progressive Democrats of America. That same year, the passionate activist was on the scene in a drowned New Orleans after the decimation of the region by Hurricane Katrina, rescuing people and pets by boat faster than the National Guard had managed, openly expressing his disgust at the slow national response later in interviews. Further demonstrating his growing interest in politics, Penn took a starring role in the Sydney Pollack-directed thriller "The Interpreter" (2005), playing a federal agent assigned to protect a U.N. translator (Nicole Kidman). That international blockbuster trounced the remake of "All the King's Men" (2006), a plodding fictionalized chronicle of Louisiana governor Huey P. Long starring Penn and based on Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize novel.
After weathering some backlash for a journey to Venezuela to meet with controversial president Hugo Chavez â¿¿ to say nothing of dealing with the unexpected death in January 2006 of younger brother, Chris at age 40 from cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart, Penn unveiled "Into the Wild" (2007), his fourth feature directorial effort and among the top-grossing of his independent film offerings. Penn adapted the screenplay from Jon Krakauer's fact-based book about an idealistic college graduate (Emile Hirsch) who drifts around the country in search of an authentic, free lifestyle, finally settling in the wilds of Alaska. Penn was honored multiple times for his successful adaptation of the challenging story, which often relied on Hirsch's lone screen presence and no dialogue, and earned the director nominations from the Director's Guild of America and the Writer's Guild of America, in addition to multiple Best Director wins at several international film festivals. Following tabloid gossip over his divorce filing with Wright-Penn at the end of 2007 and subsequent withdrawal in the spring ofmpressive i
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CAST: (feature film)
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"Some of my reactions to acting are very negative, and take me places I no longer really want to go." --Sean Penn, quoted in Details, November 1995.
"You can't get paid $20 million for the kind of movies I want to do. There've been a couple of times when I've gotten the offer to do the odd one that'll make the bank big forever. But you start on page one of the script, knowing what the money is, and you're praying that you're gonna find some reason to do it ... You can't find a reason ... I tried to watch 'Independence Day' last night, because it was on cable. I thought it was a big ridiculous crock of sh--." --Penn quoted in Entertainment Weekly, August 8, 1997.
"You could have called 'U-Turn' 'Dr. Dolittle', because being able to talk to the director was like talking to a pig. And I think that was my greatest accomplishment on that movie. For seven whole hellacious weeks, I was able to communicate with a pig. I asked myself many times, What the hell am I doing out here in the desert with Oliver Stone?" --Penn to Lynn Hirschberg in The New York Times Magazine, December 27, 1998.
"When I started out, I thought anything was possible, but now I realize the studios don't know anything. These are not literary minds. They don't recognize anything that's not on their computer. Every single person who works for the studios is stupid. I've never heard an intelligent comment on a script or a movie. Not one. It makes you angry." --Penn to The New York Times Magazine, December 27, 1998.
"I saw 'Snake Eyes' last night. It's not just that movie, it's most movies. As damaged as I am, as reckless as I've been, I never murdered my own 'voice.' I think actors s--t on their profession all the time. They can't do a pure movie again, because they carry so much baggage." --Penn quoted in Newsweek, December 21, 1998.
"Frankly, some of the things I was despised for I take complete credit for. There were times I did things in an effort to be helpful to someone else and got caught in the middle of that situation and took heat. There were other times when, through arrogance, you take pride in getting away with things like abusing alcohol. At a certain point you realize it's not giving you much back, then it gets tiring. Then suddenly it comes back one more night and it makes you feel alive one more time. It's really about where your energy is coming from. If the energy comes from anger or from mental health, it's all going to feed the same beast. I had allowed myself to sometimes be fierce in my arrogance, probably still do sometimes. But a lot of the things I got in trouble for, all it took was one pretty princess getting killed in a tunnel and everybody's feeling about it was different." --Penn to Jay Carr in The Boston Globe, December 20, 1998.
"I remember [director] Larry Kasdan did a speech at AFI [American Film Institute] and he said, 'Movies are powerful medicine and the money's good. It gives us comfortable lives ... But if you're in this business just for the money, I'm against you.' Well, I'm against it, too. One of the reasons people sell out so quickly is because even the talented think they're frauds. It's a culture that doesn't encourage people to believe in the work they do. You're told to second-guess yourself all the time. That's where I think a little hostility and arrogance can save you. And I've never been lacking for either." --Penn quoted in USA Today, January 22, 1999.
''The accusations about my lack of patriotism -- I could smell that coming a mile away, way before I went to Iraq,'' he says. ''You know ahead of time if you're being manipulated. My eyes were pretty well open.'' So why'd he go? Penn starts off with a sentimentality that people rarely grant him: ''If there was a single mission I had, it was 'Okay, I know there are kids in Iraq just like my kids. I just need to see them before I speak to [the issues], before I confirm all of the things I feel we've been lied to about''---Penn talking about his trip to Baghdad before the war, Entertainment Weekly November 28, 2003
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