Movies | January 18, 2022 5:54 am

Evidently, Sean Penn Is Not Optimistic About the Future

A recent interview got candid

Sean Penn
Host and CORE co-founder Sean Penn speaks onstage during CORE Miami: a special evening to benefit CORE's Crisis Response Programs in Latin America, Haiti, and Brazil at Soho Beach House on December 01, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for CORE

Most of the time, when you see an actor or filmmaker promoting their latest project, you’ll know what you can expect from a given interview. That’s not a bad thing; learning what drew a director to their current film or understanding how an actor got inside the head of their character can be informative and can enhance one’s knowledge of a given movie or television show.

There are rare interviews that, on occasion, take on a turn for the strange or revealing. In November of 2016, Michael Shannon’s comments on the recent election, done while promoting the film Nocturnal Animals, made for fascinating reading. And now, it seems like Sean Penn has gone a similar route.

Shannon’s 2016 interview was highly critical of conservative voters. Penn’s comments, made to the Toronto Sun, took a more nihilistic perspective.

“I’m a little frustrated with the world,” Penn said. “I’m glad I’m old and won’t be having to deal with where this stuff is going.”

He went on to criticize “people who want to be self-righteous because they can get a quick reward.” As commentary on Penn’s interview at Consequence noted, this seems of a piece with some of Penn’s other recent comments, including criticism of the #MeToo movement.

Despite Penn’s seeming pessimism, he did go on to make an allusion to the civil war in Yemen. His frustration might be real, but it certainly seems like there’s something more going on in addition to that.