Sean Penn Criticizes 'Timid' Casting Policies, on 'Miserable' Years Post-'Milk'

Sean Penn Reflects on Challenging Decade.

by Nouman Rasool
Sean Penn Criticizes 'Timid' Casting Policies, on 'Miserable' Years Post-'Milk'
© Sonia Recchia/Getty Images

Not long ago, Sean Penn, a famous actor, was interviewed by The New York Times with the intention of revealing the main features of the intense and simultaneously highly successful and difficult career of the man during the last fifteen years.

Penn, a two-time Academy Award winner who received his second Oscar for the critically acclaimed 2008 biopic Milk, admitted that after this groundbreaking role, he experienced several years of immense struggle, experiencing depression and frustration on the set.

“I think milk was it,” the actor revealed, which indicates the growing conflicts he faced in subsequent films. He partly blamed this for the discomfort of shifting casting discussions in Hollywood, arguing that his straightforward portrayal of the gay California politician Harvey Milk would not be possible today, especially given the growing campaigns and discussions over the straight actors portraying queer characters.

This Penn was quick to dismiss as saying ‘it could not happen in a time like this’ meaning to express his displeasure over what he feels is unnecessary hindrance to creativity being placed.

Years of Strain

In those 15 years, the physically and emotionally challenging roles took their toll, and Penn was aware of the burden of being a Hollywood actor.

Besides performing, he regarded himself as committed to knit shows and boosting fellow workers, an overwhelming role. ‘That’s why I was faking I was enjoying all those things and that was tiring,’ he said, forced to continue performing even as his interest gradually diminished because of the income he needed to earn.

But the Oscar winner recently got the crackle of inspiration back in the two-character movie “Daddio” with Dakota Johnson. Boasting a single powerful New York City scene between Johnson’s character and Penn’s philosophic cab driver, the concept of the bare-bones project, a tribute to Penn’s roots, revitalized his attitude toward acting.

He, too, shared with the Times that, ‘’This could be a pleasant experience, and that’s going to matter to me now, maybe more than in the past. ’’ This, too, shows that he is entering a new phase where personal satisfaction is paramount.

Penn’s illuminating reflections are best seen in entirety through the eyes of The New York Times interview; the article offers a glimpse of the personal transformations of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Sean Penn