Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Sean Penn Complains That Most Actors Do "Monkey-Fuck-Rat Movies," But Says Jessica Chastain Is A "Stradivarius"

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 13, 2012 at 1:24PM

If there has been one recurring theme in 2012 among movie folks, it's that cinema is dead. As we've noted, it's an alarm that has gone up more than once over the years, but there seems to at least be a sentiment that American cinema is in crisis (a feeling director James Gray recently shared with us). Someone who would agree with that is the always enjoyably cantankerous Sean Penn, and while doing the rounds for "Gangster Squad," he takes his fellow colleagues and movie studios to task for not stepping up their game.
21
Sean Penn

If there has been one recurring theme in 2012 among movie folks, it's that cinema is dead. As we've noted, it's an alarm that has gone up more than once over the years, but there seems to at least be a sentiment that American cinema is in crisis (a feeling director James Gray recently shared with us). Someone who would agree with that is the always enjoyably cantankerous Sean Penn, and while doing the rounds for "Gangster Squad," he takes his fellow colleagues and movie studios to task for not stepping up their game.

"I just did this picture that I enjoyed doing. 'Gangster Squad.' But I do think that in general the standard of aspiration is low. Very low. And mostly they're just doing a bunch of monkey-fuck-rat movies, most actors and actresses. And I blame them just as much as I do the business," Penn candidly told Esquire. "I know everybody wants to make some money, everybody's got a modeling contract, everybody's selling jewelry and perfume. I'm blinded by it. Bob Dylan said in an interview one time — somebody asked him, 'Are you really this reclusive?' He says, 'No, I'm not reclusive, man. I'm exclusive.' Exclusivity is like intimacy."

Certainly, Penn has used his fame and fortune to help leverage his various philanthropic endeavors, but overall, he's seen the business change dramatically since he entered showbiz. "In my teens, I fell in love with the movies. And so when I got involved in the movies, I was a genius in terms of how the movies that were made in the generation that inspired me got made — but now the financing wasn't there to do 'em anymore. Trauma. I'm caught in a business that I'm in love with the idea of — the whole process that's possible," he said. "Only now they're not making movies — they're representing them."

But if you think he's given up on the next crop of actors and actresses making their way onto the big screen, guess again, and one talent in particular has caught his (and everyone else's) eye. "I don't know the young actors as well, I'm not as aware of who's out there, but when I think of the crew around my age: Daniel [Day-Lewis], Philip [Seymour Hoffman], Javier [Bardem], Josh [Brolin], Jessica Chastain — who is fucking Stradivarius — what a group! There's a group that could be in all the classic pictures right now," Penn enthused. "Like the classics of the seventies or the classics of the forties. I think of that group of actors and it's like, 'Gimme a camera, I got an idea!' "

Will one of those ideas be "The Comedian," the film he's supposed to direct with Robert De Niro and Kristen Wiig? Let's hope. And if you think Penn is unable to have a laugh, let us remind you of his appearance on "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifianakis.

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Sean Penn from Between Two Ferns

This article is related to: Sean Penn


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates