Sean Penn - Hollywood's Finest


One of the finest actors of our generation, Sean Penn’s craft stands the test of time. Seeing him perform, he reaches the inner soul of himself to channel in to each character. The mastery of his work is magical, and unforgettable. In the image at left, we reflect back on his amazing work in the masterful film “Mystic River,” and below, his interview with the press backstage at the 81st Academy Awards® after his win for best performance by an actor in a leading role for the film “Milk” five years later in 2009.

QUESTION: You remember being old enough to remember Harvey Milk. Can you talk about now that you've won the highest honor in Hollywood for this award, what it means to you to be able to bring his story and how important you feel his story is? Who Harvey Milk was and what he represented?

SEAN PENN: You know, that means a lot to my self and to everybody involved, not only in the movie, but to anybody who believes in equal rights for human beings, it's pretty simple. And, certainly, what I mentioned from the stage earlier tonight, to see this culture of ignorance, and that breeds this kind of hateful expression, that these people have their signs outside essentially telling you that you're less than human. There's nothing more important than the themes of this movie as well as addressing things that are simply, you know, entertaining, I think. But there's nothing more important, and so being part of something like that is a privilege. And when you see something like what you saw outside today (protestors against gays, lesbians and the film), it enhances that.

After one reporters’ question of repeating a hater’s comments about Heath Ledger, who acted in the film ‘Brokeback Mountain’ among more, Sean Penn responds;

SEAN PENN: I think if we get used to dismissing these kind of comments rather than commenting on them, we'll be better off. It's meaningless gibberish…

© 2009, The 81st Academy Awards®, The Hollywood Sentinel ®