Sean Penn says he is thinking about joining the Ukrainian fight against Russia. But, it’s a long journey from thinking about doing it. I’m thinking about growing wings so that I can fly, but I don’t think that will happen either. I’ll bet Vladimir Putin is shaking in his boots at the prospect that Penn will take up arms against Russia. Do you really believe he will go?
The 61-year-old Oscar-winning celebrity has been working on a documentary on the war in Ukraine. He flew in to get an idea of how the war was going and he has returned to the United States now he says he is considering taking up arms and joining the fight.
“Look, my intention is to go back into Ukraine. But I’m not an idiot, I am not certain what I can offer.”
“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 fuck is going on?”
Penn continued: “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.”
The left-wing Hollywood star, who played an Army sergeant in the 1998 Terrence Malick movie The Thin Red Line, said his curiosity about the effects of psychological warfare is also compelling him to fight Russian forces.
“If you have seen war, and I’ve seen a little bit of it, there’s a rite of passage while you are in or near it that has to do with some basic questions you ask yourself: how would I react? Could I keep enough oxygen in my brain to make clear judgments? Are you going to be damaged by being in a war, emotionally or psychologically?” he said.
“I think that there is a certain part of my own pursuits that is influenced by those questions that on some level demand answering.”
Penn also detailed accompanying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the start of the invasion.
While being with Zelensky “the day before the invasion” and “during the invasion, on day one,” he said, “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.”