Actor Sean Penn may go to Ukraine to fight Russian forces.
The 61-year-old Oscar-winning celebrity has reportedly been working on a documentary for Vice about escalating tensions in the country since last year, and flew to Ukraine in February to get a firsthand look at the war.
After returning from the warzone in February, the Ukrainian embassy praised Penn’s effort to film the documentary in Kyiv.
Now the actor is contemplating whether to go back to Ukraine to “take up arms against Russia.”
“Look, my intention is to go back into Ukraine. But I’m not an idiot, I am not certain what I can offer,” Penn told Hollywood Authentic magazine in an interview published Saturday.
“If you’ve been in Ukraine [fighting] has to cross your mind,” he said. “And you kind of think what century is this? Because I was at the gas station in Brentwood the other day and I’m now thinking about taking up arms against Russia? What the fuck is going on?”
Penn continued: “The only possible reason for me staying in Ukraine longer last time would’ve been for me to be holding a rifle, probably without body armor, because as a foreigner, you would want to give that body armor to one of the civilian fighters who doesn’t have it or to a fighter with more skills than I have, or to a younger man or woman who could fight for longer or whatever.”
The left-wing Hollywood star, who played an Army sergeant in the 1998 Terrence Malick movie The Thin Red Line, said his curiosity about the effects of psychological warfare is also compelling him to fight Russian forces.
“If you have seen war, and I’ve seen a little bit of it, there’s a rite of passage while you are in or near it that has to do with some basic questions you ask yourself: how would I react? Could I keep enough oxygen in my brain to make clear judgments? Are you going to be damaged by being in a war, emotionally or psychologically?” he said.
“I think that there is a certain part of my own pursuits that is influenced by those questions that on some level demand answering.”
Penn also detailed accompanying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the start of the invasion.
While being with Zelensky “the day before the invasion” and “during the invasion, on day one,” he said, “it struck me that I was now looking at a guy who knew that he had to rise to the ultimate level of human courage and leadership. I think he found out that he was born to do that.”
When Penn returned from Kyiv n February he urged the U.S. to join Ukraine in its war against Russia, warning “our soul as America is lost” if we don’t join the fight.
Despite Hollywood and the Brandon administration’s effort to galvanize public support for US intervention in the Russia, Ukrainian conflict, most Americans oppose U.S. involvement in the war. A recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll shows just 26 percent of Americans want the U.X. To play a major role in the war; 52 percent say a minor role; 20% say none at all.