Sean Penn to Stephen Baldwin: 'Avoid Friendship with Michael J. Fox'

Behind-the-scenes drama unfolds on 'Casualties of War' set

by Zain ul Abedin
Sean Penn to Stephen Baldwin: 'Avoid Friendship with Michael J. Fox'
© Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

In the "One Bad Movie" podcast, Stephen Baldwin narrated an interesting story about Sean Penn. The latter was a performer in the war movie "Casualties of War." When this episode was shot, Baldwin was a relative unknown, while Penn was already an experienced actor at 63 and Michael J.

Fox. The relationships between the trio on the screen were quite tense because the characters they played were hostile. However, Penn went a step further, according to Baldwin, as he wanted them to hate each other even in real life as they did in the movie.

Apparently, Penn told Baldwin, "Our characters, we hate him, so you have to hate him with me, do what I tell you," which means that Penn did not want Baldwin to become friends with Fox.

Method Acting Clash

However, according to Penn’s recommendation, Baldwin said that he could not adhere to them.

He amusingly narrated to Kennedy how he followed Penn’s advice only to get it all wrong by instead going to Fox and congratulating him for his work in "Family Ties." This act was the first rebellion on Baldwin's set.

It turned worse during a rehearsal when Baldwin demanded a cut because Penn was mumbling his lines. This request did not go down well with director Brian De Palma. Baldwin remembered De Palma's stern response: "You don’t cut my camera." After apologizing and asking if Penn would continue mumbling during the actual scene, De Palma ranted at Baldwin, telling him that questioning Penn’s approach was off-limits.

The tension rose to the boiling point about a week later when Baldwin received a call from Art Linson and was told he was fired from the movie. Linson said to him directly, "He goes, 'We're sending you home ... you'll be on a plane this evening.'

" Baldwin described an instance where he was instructed to pack his belongings only to discover they had been filled by other people.

Sean Penn Michael J. Fox