Posted by Alia Haddad on December 14, 2012 at 11:57 am
Well, whoop, here’s a big surprise: notoriously opinionated Sean Penn has something else to say. The topics on his mind this time? Well, the current state of actors and movies. Oh, and Jessica Chastain. What does my old chatty friend have to say on the subjects? Only that movies–and actors– aren’t what they used to be. When talking to Esquire about his upcoming role in Gangster Squad, the subject turned to actors nowadays: “I just did this picture that I enjoyed doing. ‘Gangster Squad.’ But I do think that in general the standard of aspiration is low. Very low. And mostly they’re just doing a bunch of monkey-fuck-rat movies, most actors and actresses. And I blame them just as much as I do the business. I know everybody wants to make some money, everybody’s got a modeling contract, everybody’s selling jewelry and perfume. I’m blinded by it. Bob Dylan said in an interview one time — somebody asked him, ‘Are you really this reclusive?’ He says, ‘No, I’m not reclusive, man. I’m exclusive.’ Exclusivity is like intimacy.”
Well, that’s certainly an opinion if I ever heard one. But again, this shouldn’t really come as a surprise from the man that turned his Oscar acceptance speech into an anti-war, anti-conservative nation rally (I didn’t hate it). I guess what seems to be more surprising to me is when he decides to dole out his hard-earned praise. And to who else than my lady love herself, Jessica Chastain? Penn continued, “I don’t know the young actors as well, I’m not as aware of who’s out there, but when I think of the crew around my age: Daniel [Craig], Philip [Seymour Hoffman], Javier [Bardem], Josh [Brolin], Jessica Chastain–who is fucking Stradivarius — what a group! There’s a group that could be in all the classic pictures right now.”
Sure, that was high praise for all the actors included on the list, but Chastain clearly takes the cake (and is, not to mention, the only actress Penn deemed acceptable to include on his list of classic stars). I mean what exactly is a “Stradivarius”? My Google search turned up an entry for a violin, which is a strange comparison, but must be a compliment when coming from Penn.
Anyway, so there you have it–your daily does of wisdom from everyone’s favorite speech-shy (not) actor: generally, movies and actors today suck, but he counts a few people as gold. And Jessica Chastain as even better. I’m not even sure how to respond. Clearly, Penn is exaggerating and comes off as pretentious in his claims. But his love for Chastain? I mean, I don’t hate it.