Sean Penn

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Sean Penn

"The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is honoured to have Sean Penn as an Advisory Board member. Sean has become a good friend to Captain Paul Watson and they have been spending time since September 2003 working on a project together.

"Sean Penn is undeniably one of the most incredibly talented actors of his generation. He was born August 17, 1960, in Burbank, California, the second son of actress Eileen Ryan and director Leo Penn. He grew up in Santa Monica and Malibu. Penn's older brother, Michael, is a singer/songwriter turned director, while younger sibling Chris is a noted character actor. The children spent much of their free time together, making a number of amateur films shot with Super-8 cameras. Still, Penn's original intention was to attend law school, although he skipped college to join the Los Angeles Repertory Theater. After making his professional debut on an episode of television's Barnaby Jones, he relocated to New York, where he soon appeared in the play Heartland. A TV-movie, The Killing of Randy Webster, followed in 1981 before he made his feature debut later that same year in Taps...

"After the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the politically active actor's outspoken political views garnered a great deal of attention from right-wing pundits, including the ridiculously pseudo objective Bill O'Reilly, who found himself on the defensive from Penn's animosity in a controversial interview with Talk magazine. Though O'Reilly demanded his viewers boycott any of Penn's future films, it only served to make him more popular. In 2002, Penn directed a segment in cooperation with another Sea Shepherd Advisory Board member, Jacques Perrin of Galatee Films. The production of the uniquely inspired French film 9'11 01, had Sean Penn producing the American perspective for the film.

"In 2003, Sean participated in two small, but critically acclaimed films--Michael Almereyda's documentary This So Called Disaster and Alejandro González Iñárritu's low-key urban drama 21 Grams -- while managing to claim yet another Hollywood success in actor-director Clint Eastwood's highly lauded Mystic River. In 2004, it was this third film that garnered Penn his fourth Academy Award nomination and, ultimately, his first win. The Oscar, coupled with a standing ovation by the audience, showed once and for all that Penn's unorthodox approach to his acting career hasn't had an adverse effect on his popularity.

"Sean Penn is an activist who happens to be an actor. His participation in human rights and environmental issues has been influential. Sean understands the incredible media power he has as an actor and the responsibility he has to use some of that power to make this a better world." [1]

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  1. Media and Arts Advisory Board, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, accessed October 20, 2009.