Actor Sean Penn said he’s considering Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s plea for foreigners to help the country defend themselves against an invasion. The 61-year-old star revealed in an interview that he’s been thinking about “taking up arms” against Russia.
“The only possible reason for me staying in Ukraine longer last time would’ve been for me to be holding a rifle, probably without body armor, because as a foreigner, you would want to give that body armor to one of the civilian fighters who doesn’t have it or to a fighter with more skills than I have, or to a younger man or woman who could fight for longer or whatever,” Penn told Hollywood Authentic. “So, where I am in life is short of doing that, but if you’ve been in Ukraine [fighting] has to cross your mind. And you kind of think what century is this? Because I was at the gas station in Brentwood the other day and I’m now thinking about taking up arms against Russia? What the f*** is going on?”
This wouldn’t be the first time Penn inserted himself into the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The Daily Wire reported that the “Mystic River” actor was in Ukraine filming a documentary about the Russian invasion as it was happening. While there, he met with government officials including Zelensky to see how he could assist.
Zelensky shared a video to social media of his meeting with Penn. The caption said, “The more people know about the war in Ukraine, the more chances there are to stop Russia.”
Penn had a lot of praise for Zelensky’s leadership during the conflict.
“So, seeing Zelensky the day before invasion, I would say, it serves to reason that he would not have felt fully tested. And then seeing him the next day, it struck me that I was now looking at a guy who knew that he had to rise to the ultimate level of human courage and leadership. I think he found out that he was born to do that,” the activist actor said.
He continued, saying his “intention is to go back into Ukraine” but at the same time says he’s “not certain what I can offer.”
“I don’t spend a lot of time texting the president or his staff while they’re under siege and their people are being murdered. I’d probably send one message through the chief of staff. ‘Here’s what I’m looking to do that I think would be of value. You only have to answer me in one of two ways: don’t come or come and do what you’re planning, or come, but here’s where you could be more helpful,'” Penn told Hollywood Authentic.
“People will argue this, and there’s a million debates that I understand, but long term, we don’t have any tangible evidence that documentaries really change anything. We just don’t. We only know they can give hope,” he said.
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