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With hostilities breaking out in Ukraine after Russia launched its blitzkrieg invasion of the country, there is celebrity star power with boots on the ground with Sean Penn collecting footage for his documentary on the Russian onslaught.
Penn, who is reportedly making the film for Vice Studios, “last visited Ukraine in November 2021 and started preparing for his documentary by visiting with the country’s military. Photos of Penn’s November trip were released at the time by the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation Press Service,” according to Variety.
The 61-year-old actor/director arrived back in the war-torn country on Thursday and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a morale booster that was posted about on Facebook.
“Sean Penn demonstrates the courage that many others, especially western politicians lack. The more such people, true friends of Ukraine, who support the fight for freedom, the sooner it will be possible to stop the massive attack on Russia,” the post said.
“The director has already arrived in Ukraine in November 2021. Within the framework of the preparation of the documentary, he visited the Priazov and talked with the Ukrainian military.”
On Tuesday, before Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s dramatic escalation, Penn schmoozed with Ukrainian presidential adviser Alexander Rodnyansky who posted the lighthearted moment to Twitter.
On a slightly more positive note today in spite of the political and military situation: Exciting, fun and captivating conversation over dinner with @SeanPenn, who came to #Kyiv at this critical moment. #StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/GLwoDlrFcg
— Alexander Rodnyansky (@arodnyansky) February 23, 2022
“On a slightly more positive note today in spite of the political and military situation: Exciting, fun and captivating conversation over dinner with @SeanPenn, who came to #Kyiv at this critical moment. #StandWithUkraine,” Rodnyansky wrote.
Fans shared images of Penn on social media.
Sean Penn is in Kyiv because of course he is. pic.twitter.com/PkfwNcseJN
— Brandon (@InquisitiveDick) February 24, 2022
Penn’s journey into the belly of the beast is another danger-soaked endeavor for the Hollywood leftist. In 2015, he traveled to Mexico where he sat down with the murderous drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, who is more widely known as “El Chapo,” where he conducted an interview that earned him both praise and criticism, a sit-down that was documented in an article for Rolling Stone magazine.
Twitter users reacted to Penn’s new role as a live-action war correspondent, praising him for his heroism.
Amazed by critical comments here about Sean Penn. With a net worth of $70M, he could be sitting on a beach somewhere relaxing. Instead, he uses his gifts and talents to shed light on human rights abuses; helps people in disaster zones; and is now documenting the horrors of war.
— Jim Keady (@JWKeady) February 24, 2022
Sean Penn is in Ukraine filming to show the world that Putin is a dictator and that many people in Russia and all those around the world that stand for democracy and freedom are against this war 🇺🇦 #UkraineRussia https://t.co/UTwmH6MB97
— Outspoken™️ (@Out5p0ken) February 24, 2022
Sean Penn gonna bring down Putin just like he did El Chapo. https://t.co/E7TrJauw3p
— Tom Waits For No Man (@Chigurh_Crash) February 24, 2022
Others weren’t as charitable.
Putin is officially screwed. Sean Penn is in Ukraine & he's meeting with leadership: https://t.co/JGbhCdQxFR
— OutKick (@Outkick) February 24, 2022
Amid all this Sean Penn is in Ukraine.🤦♂️ Is chatting with him the best use of the president's time right now? pic.twitter.com/iyAHi9DOtz
— Bashkarma (@Karmabash) February 24, 2022
Few things i loathe more than celebrity stunt war journalism: https://t.co/pK6eqIhvrv
— Danny Gold (@DGisSERIOUS) February 24, 2022
Hasn’t Ukraine suffered enough?
“Sean Penn in Ukraine Filming Documentary About Russia Invasion” – @Variety https://t.co/kFCeZNyjub
— Xeni (@xeni) February 24, 2022
sean penn constantly involves himself in major world events. he's like a real life forrest gump but with misogny and zero likeability.
— SloaneGhetti (@SloaneFragment) February 24, 2022
One wiseacre tweeted, “Sean Penn can fix Ukraine. His dad’s a TV Repairman, he’s got this ultimate set of tools. He can fix it,” a reference to the actor’s early role as stoned-out surfer dude Jeff Spicoli in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” the 1982 comedy that launched his career.
Sean Penn can fix Ukraine. His dad's a TV Repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. He can fix it.
— Matthew Kolken (@mkolken) February 24, 2022
odds Sean Penn is putting Ukrainians in danger of death for a vanity project?
— (((Orchid))) (@OrchidNYC) February 24, 2022
"Sean Penn" is on it
Putin is running scared……
— Captainshat (@NotcommieCapt) February 24, 2022
Sean Penn always trying to be relevant. I remember when he tried to rescue Hurricane Katrina victims with a leaky boat…
— Amanda Taylor (@geeklyamanda) February 24, 2022
During his long career, Penn has appeared in over 50 films as well as television and, in the 1980s, was regularly featured in tabloid headlines for his marriage to pop icon Madonna, a turbulent relationship that unsurprisingly ended in divorce.
Penn has compiled an extensive body of work with much of it receiving critical acclaim, especially his star turn as slain homosexual activist Harvey Milk which scored him a Best Actor Oscar in 2008. He also brought home the hardware for his 2003 role as the grieving father of a murder victim in director Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River,” a big-screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane.
With his already substantial cred with the left for his trashing of Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump as well as his portrayal of Milk, Penn’s great Ukrainian adventure will have liberals swooning.
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