Sean Penn says he “thought of taking up arms against Russia” while in Ukraine filming documentaries

Although he has returned to California after filming in war-torn Ukraine, actor Sean Penn revealed that he intended to ‘take up arms against Russia’, saying that ‘if you’ve been to Ukraine, [fighting] have to cross your mind. ‘

The filmmaker spent the last many months in Ukraine filming a VICE documentary about President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s military forces.

Penn, 61, told the Hollywood Authentic in an interview on April 9 that his ‘intention is to return to Ukraine’, although he’m not sure what [he] can offer.’

‘The only possible reason why I stayed longer in Ukraine last time would have been that I kept a rifle, probably without armor, because as a foreigner you would like to give that armor to one of the civil warriors who does not have it or to a fighter with more skills than I have, or to a younger man or woman who could fight for a longer period of time or whatever, ‘Penn said.

‘So, where I am in life need to do it, but if you’ve been to Ukraine [fighting] must cross your mind. And you think a little, what century is this? Because I was at the gas station in Brentwood the other day and I’m now considering taking up arms against Russia? What the hell — is happening? ‘

Sean Penn, 61, told the Hollywood Authentic that he found himself “thinking of taking up arms against Russia” while at the gas station in Brentwood, California, shortly after returning from the war-torn country.

Penn, on the left, is pictured with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky.  Penn, who was with Zelensky when Russia first invaded Ukraine, credited the president for uniting the country

Penn, on the left, is pictured with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky. Penn, who was with Zelensky when Russia first invaded Ukraine, credited the president for uniting the country

Penn is pictured at a news conference in Rzeszow, Poland last month, announcing a partnership between the city and his nonprofit organization, CORE, to help Ukrainian refugees flee there.  However, the Oscar-winning activist said that when he returns to Ukraine, he can

Penn is pictured at a news conference in Rzeszow, Poland last month, announcing a partnership between the city and his nonprofit organization, CORE, to help Ukrainian refugees flee there. However, the Oscar-winning activist said that when he returns to Ukraine, he can “send a message through the Chief of Staff” to see how else he can help

Grieving, the image is gathered on April 12 around the coffin of Ukrainian soldier Roman Tiaka, 47, who was killed during Russia's invasion.  Penn described the 'transition ritual' of covering war zones, asking yourself 'how would I react?'

Grieving, the image is gathered on April 12 around the coffin of Ukrainian soldier Roman Tiaka, 47, who was killed during Russia’s invasion. Penn described the ‘transition ritual’ of covering war zones, asking yourself ‘how would I react?’

The director plans to continue filming the ongoing conflict for his documentary. In the interview, however, Penn questioned whether there is ‘tangible evidence that documentaries really change anything.’

“We only know it can give hope,” he said.

The activist and Oscar-winning director, who was physically involved in rescuing people after Hurricane Katrina and conducted a secret interview with Sinaloa cartel boss El Chapo in 2016, told the magazine that ‘statistically, I have never really taken any risks at all. ‘

“And that includes 2003 Baghdad, when I was alone outside the green zone … you probably had one in 100 chances of being killed.”

Typically, Penn said, he has never been ‘a conflict zone journalist who stays months or years in a place that is really sketchy, and never anyone who had no choice but to be there and live there.’

He told the business that it is possible to be ‘fascinated by conflict’ and ‘intellectually very anti-war’ at the same time.

‘There is 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 have enough oxygen in my brain to make clear assessments? Are you going to be hurt by being at war, emotionally or psychologically? ‘

‘I think there is a certain part of my own pursuits that is influenced by the questions that at some level require answers. And so, yeah, I guess it just would not be honest if I said it was not part of it. ‘

Penn first arrived in the capital Kyiv when Russia first invaded Ukraine in February – Zelensky even announced the director’s presence on his official Facebook page.

Penn is pictured at a press briefing at the presidential office in Ukraine on February 24.  The actor said he saw a change in Ukraine's leader after Russia's invasion for the first time: 'it struck me that I was now looking at a guy who knows he has to rise to the ultimate level of human courage and leadership'

Penn is pictured at a press briefing at the presidential office in Ukraine on February 24. The actor said he saw a change in Ukraine’s leader after Russia’s invasion for the first time: ‘it struck me that I was now looking at a guy who knows he has to rise to the ultimate level of human courage and leadership’

Penn told the business that

Penn told the business that “if you’ve been to Ukraine, [fighting] have to cross your mind. ‘ Field engineers in Ukraine are pictured next to wrecked armored vehicles on a street in the city of Bucha on April 5

‘The American actor and film director, Oscar winner Sean Penn arrived in Ukraine,’ read the ad. “The director came specifically to Kiev to record all the events taking place in Ukraine as documentary films and to tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country.”

Penn credited Zelensky for uniting the country of Ukraine in the face of the disaster.

‘They are together like never before, and as I said, is Zelensky’s historical legacy because he is the man who did it.’

‘They will never be able to take it from him that he united the Ukrainians to fight for their country.’

Penn first met the Ukrainian president before the conflict and remembered him as ‘very charming, and very bright and very charismatic’. When the Russian attack began, Penn said, he saw a shift in Zelensky.

Penn, on the right, is pictured visiting the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the front line with Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region, Ukraine

Penn, on the right, is pictured visiting the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the front line with Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region, Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) takes to the streets in the recaptured by the Ukrainian army Bucha by Kyiv on April 4.  Penn said Zelensky's 'historic legacy' will bring Ukraine together 'like never before'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) takes to the streets in the recaptured by the Ukrainian army Bucha by Kyiv on April 4. Penn said Zelensky’s ‘historic legacy’ will bring Ukraine together ‘like never before’

“Seeing Zelensky one day before the invasion, I would say, is one reason he would not have felt completely tested. And when I saw him the next day, it struck me that I was now looking at a guy who knowing that he should rise to the ultimate level of human courage and leadership. I think he found out he was born to do that. ‘

Currently, Penn’s nonprofit CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), founded in 2010 to help earthquake victims in Haiti, helps Ukrainian refugees flee Poland, and Penn said its resources may ‘try to cross the border to increase the resources that are so short. ‘

More than 4 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since Russia invaded the country on February 24, according to UN data representing the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

When he returns to the country, Penn will assess what else he can do to help.

‘I do not spend much time texting the President or his staff while they are under siege and their people are being murdered. I would probably send a message through the Chief of Staff. ” Here’s what I’m looking to do that I think would be of value. You only have to answer me in one of two ways: do not come or come and do what you plan, or come, but here you can be more helpful, “he said.

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