Whether you’re a fan of Sean Penn or not, Hollywood cinema would have been very different without him. Think about it: No Mystic River. No Milk. No Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Even if those films would still have been made, but whoever Hollywood found to fill those roles would have made the final products very different.
And while Penn has given us some amazing movies, it may finally be time to say goodbye. In a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Penn hinted at the fact that his acting career may be officially behind him.
During the interview, Penn told Tracy Smith that acting hasn’t been very enjoyable for him lately, adding, “I, you know, I think that this had been true for some time.”
He continued, “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.”
Is there something in the water in Hollywood? Penn is far from the first A-lister to decide recently that their acting days are over. Cameron Diaz has settled into married life with Benji Madden, Jennifer Lawrence is taking some time off after years of constant movie-making and Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement from the film industry last summer.
So, if he’s not acting, what will Penn be up to in the future? It turns out he really enjoys writing — but not films, as you might expect. His first novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, is being released next week, and Penn seems proud of it, even though he knows not everyone will love its politically motivated plot (in the book, a threatening letter is sent to the fictional president).
“You know, some people are going to get this book and some people are not going to get this book,” Penn told Smith. “Some people, I think, will really enjoy it, others will loathe it. And — and that really is what I’d like to say about me, you know?”