Books used to be revolutionary. There was a day and time, when owning a book was a sign of wealth. Today, books are a commodity, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’s value comes mostly from who wrote it, Sean Penn. I’m not passing judgement on the writing itself. Honestly, I haven’t read it. I have been contemplating it. After my research, for this article, I have made up my mind.
Sean Penn and I have an interesting “relationship”. An article on The Bro Talk refers to Penn as a Baby Boomer. He’s 57. Is this correct? I’m 48. My dad is definitely a Baby Boomer at 71. Watching his movies, as they came out, makes me feel like I grew up with Sean Penn. He was that older guy, in school ahead of me.
Other than his movies I have two really specific memories of Sean Penn. The first is seeing him on some show like Charlie Rose’s, some kind of interview. This is not a critique of his intelligence or anything like that but I was struck by the difficulty he was having communicating his thoughts. I think it was shyness, mostly, maybe he was high, who knows. The reason it caught my attention was that it was not at all how I expected an actor to be. It gave him a little more humanity, in my eyes.
The other time, I actually saw him in person. It was on the set of All The Kings Men. I was an extra, in the funeral, in the rainstorm. When you are on a movie set you get a general idea, about people’s character. They told us not to talk to him, whereas James Gandolfini was glad-handing everyone and joking. The thing is, I didn’t get the impression Sean Penn was being stand-offish or rude. He genuinely seemed to be concentrating on his work and staying in character.
Books give a depth to our intellectual intercourse. Whether I agree with Sean or not, I am interested in knowing a little more about him. I think I will enjoy doing so reading Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.