Entertainment

Sean Penn Says Gun Control-Advocating Students Give Him ‘Hope’

Edgy actor — a previous owner of 65 firearms — claims his idealism has been 'saved' by outspoken Parkland students

Love him or hate him, Sean Penn has never been one to shy away from sharing his opinions.

The filmmaker recently wrote a novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,” which follows an assassin in a dystopian world.

Promoting the book on Stephen Colbert’s late-night program, Penn confirmed the story was inspired by the Trump presidency and was his way of “venting.”

He went on to praise the students of Parkland, Florida, for pushing gun control and said they give him “hope.”

The “Mystic River” star said the kids push their opinions in an “inclusionary way” — a statement with which very few on the other side of the debate would agree.

Penn said his idealism has been “chipped away at” as he’s gotten older — he is now 57 — and he looks to young people like the Parkland students for hope in the future.

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“And you think to yourself, thank God. And now if these kids and this movement of these kids will get together with people representing other issues and make this a more ubiquitous movement — because God knows, when the town hall is interrupted by BMW — you know BMW will decide when they’re tired of this story,” he said. “But when they get the whole picture and are working together with other organizations, that’s going to affect the ballot box and the culture, and then I might write a less dystopian book.”

Sean Penn is actually a previous gun owner. He reportedly owned 65 firearms but had them turned into a sculpture by artist Jeff Koons. He said he was convinced to do so by his then-girlfriend, actress Charlize Theron.

Penn later told E! News that he didn’t miss his firearms. The gun sculpture was auctioned off and bought by CNN host Anderson Cooper for $1.4 million. That money was then donated to a Haiti relief organization.

The rest of Penn’s bizarre interview with Colbert has been making the rounds on social media. The filmmaker admitted to taking Ambien before the show and still feeling the effects of it while talking. He also smoked two cigarettes while being interviewed.

“Please don’t smoke anymore,” Colbert joked at one point. “I don’t mind. My parents smoked when I was a child, so it gives me happy memories to smell cigarette smoke, but you know we want you to be around for a long time and those things are bad for you.”

“Job security for oncologists,” Penn responded.

People have since been responding in rather humorous ways to the odd exchange.

https://twitter.com/TracyJones86/status/978485552688361473

PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter

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