Actor Sean Penn spoke to FOX News about his new documentary on Ukraine, which he began filming prior to the Russian invasion and how he views the United States’ role in the war.
Penn, who has long been connected to liberal causes and previously had a friendship of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said he is not coming at the Ukraine war as a “political analyst” but as an observer who had been on-the-ground when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of a sovereign country.
The “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” star told “Hannity” he started planning his film, “Superpower” prior to the buildup of Russian troops on the Ukraine border and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Host Sean Hannity said he was “riveted” by the film, adding it evolved into the timing of Penn being with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when the invasion was initiated.
Sean Penn presented Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with his own Oscar Award when visiting the leader in Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty)
He told Penn personal politics are irrelevant to the discussion, adding the actor proved to be “the real deal” in this particular case
The host noted Penn was so persistent in remaining in the country that former Trump National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien’s direct advice to leave Ukraine was ultimately in vain.
In a prior interview, Penn told FOX News‘ “Special Report” that O’Brien had told him to “get the [expletive] out,” adding at the time the feds are “extremely good at caution” and had already advised American nationals in Kyiv to evacuate.
On “Hannity,” Penn said he stayed in-part because he felt a “tremendous sense of heartbreak.”
“I thought about my kids immediately that this was something that would affect them and I think has – but not anything like what’s happening on those front lines in that country to those people.”
Later, Hannity cited criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the war, saying the president “vetoed” a plan to provide MiGs to Ukraine, and that the conflict is becoming a “proxy war” with Vladimir Putin.
Penn replied there are many elements at play, and when it comes to whether the GOP or Democratic Party has taken the right tact on Ukraine, time will best tell.
“I think that whether it’s Republican, Democrat or anything in between, that – and I’m of course not a political analyst, but as an observer of it, as one more citizen – I would say that I’m very confident that whichever party might support decisive action; complete action in this, it would be a political win, not to mention a principled one.”
Penn said Zelenskyy has said the U.S. has fought and died in too many wars throughout history, that he does not want Americans fighting on Ukrainian soil and that there is scant political will in America to deploy troops.
“So what we will do, Republican or Democrat, over the long term is we’re going to give them everything it takes short of U.S. troops on the ground there. So we should do it now, because the only difference is… more death and destruction.”
Penn remarked he has never voted Republican and isn’t likely to do so, and therefore would like to see Biden and the Democrats view the conflict in a “very realistic and bold way, and get this thing over.”
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Charles Creitz is a reporter for Fox News Digital.
He joined Fox News in 2013 as a writer and production assistant.
Charles is a Pennsylvania native and graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. Story tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.