Sean Penn presents Oscar to Zelensky
Sean Penn presented one of his Oscars to Volodymyr Zelensky, which the Ukrainian president said he’ll hold onto “until we win” the war with Russia.
“This is for you,” the “I am Sam” star told Zelensky as he handed him the golden statuette in a video posted Tuesday on social media by a Ukrainian government official.
“No, Sean. That is yours,” Zelensky replied.
“I feel terrible,” Penn said. “It’s just a symbolic, silly thing,” Penn told Ukraine’s president.
“But if I know this is here with you, then I’ll feel better and strong enough for the fight,” Penn said.
“When you win, bring it back to Malibu,” the 62-year-old performer told Zelensky. “Because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”
Penn won two Oscars for Best Actor throughout his career, for 2003’s “Mystic River” and “Milk” in 2008.
The Academy Award winner was in Ukraine filming a documentary on Zelensky when Russia launched its military assault on the country in February.
The Ukrainians are fighting to win. And they’re fighting to win for the very thing that we’re able to do right now. To be free, to dream. And that is what we say we represent as Americans,” he said during an interview in April, two months after the Russian invasion.
After putting the award on display on a mantle, Zelensky showed Penn a stone marker bearing the actor’s name to honor him.
“There are three places in the world that all the pride of my life will be,” Penn told Zelensky.
“The place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born, and this,” Penn said, thanking Zelensky.
–Updated at 11:15 a.m.
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