When you think of actors with a capital 'A', Sean Penn is one of the names that comes to mind. The veteran actor, known for serious roles in films like Mystic River and Milk has two Oscars and five nominations to his name. So you would think that he couldn't be happier doing something artistic at which he's talented. But it turns out that Sean Penn doesn't really enjoy acting anymore and struggles to find the importance of it. He laid out his feelings about this, saying:
It can be great when you're working with good actors or good directors or good writing as an exercise. But, do I have a belief that it has a lasting value? Maybe, I could make the argument intellectually. But I don't have a visceral -- I'm not in love with that anymore.
Say it ain't so, Jeff Spicoli. This is kind of a troubling thing to hear from the actor who has been a part of the industry for so long. Previewing his interview with CBS' Sunday Morning, CBS News highlighted that Sean Penn has felt this way for some time. The way he describes his feelings, it sounds like he can see the merit in working with talented people and can even take something positive from the experience, but he doesn't really love it. It seems like he almost has to talk himself into gleaning something from acting nowadays, and the enjoyment and passion for it doesn't come naturally.
Sean Penn also seems to be questioning whether or not acting is actually making a positive impact. The actor has become increasingly known for his political activism and philanthropic efforts in recent years, so it's not surprising that he is looking at his work through this lens and trying to see if it is making a difference in a world with so many ills. But just because he no longer loves movies doesn't mean that Sean Penn has no joy in life. The actor is promoting his new novel Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff that comes out on March 27. In addition to coming up with weird titles, the actor has said that he enjoys writing. Now, because this is Sean Penn we're talking about here, he writes in longhand, not on a computer, which I'm sure is a blast for his editor.
It's not clear if Sean Penn is officially done acting or will simply be doing less of it as time goes on. Those still hoping to see the actor on screen can look forward to The Professor and the Madman, starring Sean Penn, Natalie Dormer, Mel Gibson and Ioan Gruffudd, due out later this year. He is also expected to have a part in House of Cards creator Beau Willimon's Hulu series The First. If Sean Penn does officially retire from acting, Daniel Day-Lewis style, the industry will miss him. While not everyone's cup of tea, the actor gives committed performances. You also can't begrudge someone for retiring from something that doesn't make them happy in order to pursue something that does.