DE NIRO INTRODUCES NOMINEE PENN AT OSCARS
Sean Penn was in terrific form last night as he accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Gus Van Sant's Milk. "You commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns," Penn told the crowd with sarcastic irony as he accepted his award for portraying the openly gay politician Harvey Milk. "I did not expect this," he continued, "and I want it to be very clear that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me often." Prior to the envelope being opened, Robert De Niro, sharing the stage with four other actors who have previously won the Best Actor award, was assigned to introduce his friend Penn as a nominee in the Actor category. "How did he do it?" quipped De Niro. "How for so many years did Sean Penn get all those jobs playing straight men?" De Niro concluded his speech by saying, "Tonight, it’s important to be a great actor. In life, it’s more important to be a great human being. That’s my friend Sean Penn."
DE NIRO THE BIGGEST COMEDY STAR IN AMERICA?
Penn is interviewed by Mark Binelli in the February 19 2009 issue of Rolling Stone. Binelli comments on the fact that Penn has not done much comedy in his career, wondering how the actor avoided being pigeonholed after his breakout role in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Penn replied to Binelli:
It never happened. I'm more interested in the way drama tends to resonate in people's lives, versus that kind of escapism. But I certainly would have done 10 more comedies had I been offered them. I was talking to someone the other day and said, "Who would have thought when I was younger that I was going to end up being the poster boy for the Queer Nation and Robert De Niro was going to be the biggest comedy star in America?"
PENN STAYED FOCUSED ON CASUALTIES OF WAR
In the interview, Penn also mentions his work on Brian De Palma's Casualties Of War. After Binelli refers to stories about Penn being wild with Tom Cruise and Timothy Hutton while filming Taps early in their careers, Penn says that the three were all "forced" into a fraternity when the producers set them all up in a hotel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Penn continued to Binelli:
...we were all kids running around. We had a great time. But since then, I'm always the guy who stays at the other hotel than the other actors stay in. I remember, we were shooting in Thailand on Casualties Of War, and some guys were going to the hospital, showing up with stitches.[Binelli] From being up partying?
It started because groups of young actors can forget what they're there to do. I didn't want to get caught up in that.
PENN IN TALKS TO PLAY JOSEPH WILSON IN LIMAN'S "OUTRAGEOUS" PLAME FILM
According to Variety today, Penn is now in talks to play Joseph Wilson, the ambassador whose New York Times op-ed piece four months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq was critical of the evidence used by the Bush administration to justify that invasion. One week after Wilson's editorial was published, his wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as an undercover CIA agent in a column written by Robert Novak. Naomi Watts is set to star as Plame, and the film will be directed by Doug Liman. A year ago, Liman was set with Nicole Kidman for the Plame role, and, back when Bush and Cheney were still in office, the director had told MTV's Shawn Adler about his "really insane" way to film the story without having to worry about any government objections:
I have a really, really insane take on how to tell it. It’s so outrageous. Ultimately, I’d be doing something no one has ever done before. Therefore it’s automatically appealing to me. I’m just starting to explore whether [what I have in mind] is even possible to do.