Two-time Oscar winning actor Sean Penn has perhaps everything one longs for. But, the 51-year-old actor-director-humanitarian says he has often thought about leaving the limelight.
“Turning one’s back on stardom might be the highest form of common sense. One that I would aspire to be more complete with,” says Penn. “I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that it’s an obscene disease of celebrity that’s taken over far too much of the life that we do live. I think it’s a disease. I think that it has diminished the quality of life. Not particularly for the people who are the focus of it, though that is clearly something that I’ve been compromised by. But for the culture at large, there is this kind of herd commitment... I think it’s just become cheap,” he adds.
Penn seems to have come to the conclusion courtesy his new movie, This Must Be the Place where he portrays a former rock star, Cheyenne, a raven-maned, mascara-caked former pop icon, who turns his back on stardom and goes into exile.
Meanwhile, Penn is preparing to direct his fifth film, The Comedian with Robert De Niro and Kristen Wiig. Just as he has thought about retreating from stardom, he says he would like to be able to give up acting and only direct films.
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