Sean Penn covers Esquire, claims he’s never really been “loved by someone”

Sean Penn has a new interview in Esquire’s January issue. Well, I say “interview” but you know how artsy-fartsy Esquire is. The piece is written in the first person, like Sean Penn sat there and wrote everything out for Esquire, when really the piece is the product of an actual interview. Sean is promoting Gangster Squad, that really violent film with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and Josh Brolin, etc. Some sites are excerpting some cryptic quotes from this piece and treating the quotes like Sean is talking sh-t about his ex-wife Robin Wright. Which… I mean, I think he’s talking about their marriage, definitely. But I do think the quotes should be heard in context. Here are some highlights from the piece (you can read the whole thing here):

His son’s accident several years ago: “My son had a skateboard accident where he almost died. He had emergency brain surgery. This was before he turned eighteen — he’s nineteen now. And when he was recovering, seeing the morphine go into him and give him relief created kind of a love affair for me with morphine and that usage of it. It had already been eight months of divorce and shit, and raising a kid that’s going through the divorce himself, and then this f–king thing happens. He’s 100 percent now, no brain damage — he’s great. Got a few scars, but he’s great. But it was a tough, tough time. When he got out of the hospital and he’s with his mother after being with me for six months, I thought, Wow, I can actually go on a date. And so I go out and I strike out four nights in a row, drinking at a bar and ending up home, you know, drunk. And on the fourth day I said, ‘I could just go sit in the middle of the bed and watch TV at four in the afternoon, too. I don’t have anything.’ My daughter’s eighteen and she’s doing her thing, my son’s with his mother. So I turned on the TV and there was this earthquake in Haiti.”

On Haiti: “You had a country that had never experienced anything that related to comfort, and out of that you had great trauma — but also this great strength that, I think, we all benefited from. That’s part of the cultural thread that can be shared between the countries. If you think about how pussified this country has become, right? Haiti is so far from being pussified.”

How Sean Penn gets people to donate: “In the beginning, my thing was always blackmail. I would say, “If you don’t f–kin’ do x, y, and z, I’m gonna go on f–kin’ CNN and I’m gonna f–kin’ let the world know!” And sometimes I would get mocked because the bottom line is that yes, it’s funny. It’s funny to have this sniveling actor in there — and you can make fun of it, but the f–king easiest thing in the world is to convince people not to write a check. And that’s not funny to the people who need the money.”

On the changing movie industry: “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. Only now they’re not making movies — they’re representing them.”

He’s shilling Gangster Squad but he hates sellouts: “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-f–k-rat movies, most actors and actresses. And I blame them just as much as I do the business. 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.”

Intimacy and consumerism: “When I was growing up and somebody like Robert De Niro had a movie come out, it was a cultural event. Because he had such a confidence and a single mission that was so intimate. But when people start using themselves as instruments of a kind of consumerist mosh pit, they’re helping that take over. I mean, you are a soldier for it or you’re a soldier against it. That’s all there is to it. And we have so little of that intimacy left, it’s no wonder that interpersonal relationships have become text relationships. It’s a texting orgy. When is somebody gonna sit there, with their mate or their child, and just look them in the eye and say, “I love you?” When is that life??”

He does like some actors: “I’m just not a big-budget kinda guy, you know? 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, Philip, Javier, Josh, Jessica Chastain — who is f–king Stradivarius — what a group! There’s a group that could be in all the classic pictures right now. 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!”

This is the part about Robin: “There is no shame in my saying that we all want to be loved by someone. As I look back over my life in romance, I don’t feel I’ve ever had that. I have been the only one that was unaware of the fraud in a few of these circumstances blindly. When you get divorced, all the truths that come out, you sit there and you go, What the f–k was I doing? What was I doing believing that this person was invested in this way? Which is a fantastically strong humiliation in the best sense. It can make somebody very bitter and very hard and closed off, but I find it does the opposite to me.

[From Esquire]

Let’s analyze the part that’s probably about Robin – Sean claims that he doesn’t feel that he’s ever been loved by someone? That’s what he’s saying – that HE is the one who loves too much and that he’s always been with people who don’t love him. And he gives that a name – “fraud”. Love fraud. Because he was blinded by his love for those women and he didn’t see that they were frauds because they didn’t love him and they weren’t invested in the relationship? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT? I do not. I think Robin put up with his lying, cheating, womanizing, drugging and drinking for decades. I think she was committed to loving him and raising their children together… until she wasn’t. Until she got tired of his crap. And even then, she still let him come back several times before they finally ended it for good. So basically, Sean Penn is a douchey whiner with a martyr complex. Shock.

Photos courtesy of Esquire.


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106 Responses to “Sean Penn covers Esquire, claims he’s never really been “loved by someone””

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  1. Mica says:

    I cringed so much, my face begin to hurt.

    • OutstandingWoldCitizen says:

      Wow, so much SP hating here. I guess I am the standout on this one. This interview has made me love him more now. His candor, talent and aMAHzing ass – seen it in Hurly Burly.

      SP is not an H’wood people pleaser. H’wood is the mecca of smiling talking airheads who never say any. YUCK!!!! Truthfully, when I saw the trailer (this is a lavish production full of eye candy) for Gang Squad, I almost spilled my popcorn I laughed so hard. I can tell he is dialing in the performance but I gave him a pass b/c he has kids to put through college, alimony AND several mortgages I assume. Plus, Actors gotta Act. Glorified Paper Pushers – like myself – gotta Push Paper. :)

      Lastly, his comment re: feeling unloved is not unlike what most people feel especially after divorce or a bad break up. Believe me, you come away sometimes shaking your head or crying over some of the revelations mainly b/c there are things people DO NOT SAY when they are “together.”

      AND whatever his motivation (it is sheer snark to say it was total boredom but I live for snark :) ) for going to Haiti was, I still commend for helping and going there to see the destruction. A wild guess but I am almost positive there were many “bored” stars in Hollywood watching the devastation on their 100 inch flat screens, lying in their comfy California King Size beds in their lavish mansions bemoaning their miserable existences who wouldn’t dare go or even donate to Haiti. It is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere – has been forever but I will spare your all the story since this post is getting longer and longer – an NGO capital and little to no luxury hotels. Why bother to care only for a photo op of course. So many promised funds have yet to make there but that is another story. All that said, I think he went mainly due to a midlife crisis. MLC can motivate you to do things – hopefully for the best of humankind – you’d never conceive of doing.

  2. brin says:

    “Sean Penn is a douchey whiner with a martyr complex”…perfectly put. And might I add..what a scumbag.

  3. bea says:

    Roll of quarters in his pocket?

  4. Kaye says:

    As soon as I read the headline, I pictured Robin Wright rolling her eyes and thinking, “Oh, please.”

  5. Ranunculus says:

    I am not really interested in him whining about his sad love life, I think he should keep that to himself actually, but one thing for sure he has a great taste in actors! Jessica Chastain is superb, as is Javier Bardem, as is Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  6. Post-It's says:

    He is looking rough. I never could understand what Robin Wright saw in him and why she put up with his BS for so long.

    • DreamyK says:

      He looks homeless. And not the ” I’m in a bad spot could you spare some change” kind, either. He’s the “been off my meds and feeling stabby” sort. I wouldn’t make eye contact with him if I was walking down the street.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Please don’t insult homeless people like that. You can just describe him as being an ugly douche without insulting any other group of people, can’t you?
        And people do have dualities. You can be a great fundraiser and do great things for Haiti and still be an asshole in your personal life.

  7. Aubra says:

    He’s a douche, but a loveable one…

  8. NerdMomma says:

    Martyr complex = nailed it!

  9. Kimbob says:

    It’s kind of hard to love a porcupine. An ugly porcupine, especially. Oh yeah, he’s a major whiner.

  10. Gine says:

    Not to mention that he was super abusive to Madonna. I don’t like Madge, but she didn’t deserve that and I think she definitely loved him.

    What an ass.

  11. daz says:

    He just wants someone to worship his Ego 24/7, no questions asked.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      Excellent point – he just wants someone to worship his ego – a major issue problem working world nowadays as well. A good boss has enough of his/her own ego and will be satisfied with hard work – the ‘boss’ who wants ego worship, however, does not care about the job you do – only about how well u can suck up which can be very draining to be around. Also, it seems that Robin tried hard in the marriage – and this dude was never satisfied with her efforts, that’s how he comes across anyways.

  12. Mia 4S says:

    So I actually agree about the “exclusive” thing and movie stars no longer having any mystique…..and then I read the rest of the interview and remember he’s a massive douche.

    Seriously even if you believe you’ve “never been loved” who says that when it all but publicly accuses their long time wife and mother of their children? Yuck.

  13. lori says:

    He kinda Halley Berry’s me, but he is doing really great work for Haiti.

  14. tracking says:

    …except himself. Poor Robin.

  15. Veruca says:

    I’m just remembering when I saw “Bad Boys” for the first time. He was so good — I couldn’t wait to see where his career would take him.

    Now, I won’t say where I wish it would take him. It’s far too early to be that rude.

  16. Amy says:

    He’s long been one of those people whose work I love and whom I never want to meet.

  17. Jeanie.amour says:

    I really feel this particular magazine article should have been published with one of those greeting card song playing installments (you know, the one’s that start playing when you open them). Just imagine how more fabulous this piece of writing would have been with a symphony of Kanye West’s ‘Let’s Hear it for the Douche Bags’ taking you through this magnificent interview! Now that’s art ladies and gents!

  18. CTgirl says:

    What a soul sucker. I pity any woman who gets involved with this emotionally stunted fool.

  19. Joanna says:

    He could really do with some Botox on his wrinkles. I’ve never seen someone with forehead wrinkles that deep.

  20. Jayna says:

    Madonna In Vanity Fair in 1990 admitted going to Sean Penn movies as the only way to see him, even the one with his girlfriend. She called herself pathetic. Madonna called him the love of her life. But the guy beat her and held her hostage. She escaped to the police but all she worried about was not ruining his career. Right, Madonna never loved him I guess because she wouldn’t go back to him because the marriage was toxic even though she loved him. You’re an alcoholic, Sean.

    I give him a lot of credit for Haiti and his work there and his brilliance in movies. He made some great points about movie-making. As a movie buff, the ’70s was true movie-making.

  21. n says:

    Say what you want to say. He is a great actor and I always enjoy his movies.

    Also he can’t be that bad if he took care of his son when he had an accident and it really must have been a traumatic experience for him.

    The whining thing – to me he did the same as Joaquin Phoenix and at the end of the day – he is telling the truth…maybe his not using the right words but I do agree with what he’s saying.

  22. just me says:

    I’m sure his ex-wife and children really appreciate this. He is absolutely disgusting.

  23. valleymiss says:

    I hate this guy. What’s he thinking, talking about the mother of his kids like this, in an interview they can read? She put up with his drinking and cheating, and this is the thanks she gets? And as someone else mentioned, Madonna didn’t press charges when he abused her and tied her to a chair. It seems like Sean can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to the women in his life who have loved him.

  24. Jayna says:

    Robin had a really promising movie career, which she really put on hold most of their marriage except for here and there to be a mother since he was off making movies. A lot of driven actresses at the beginning of their movie career when it’s really taking off wouldn’t do that. So she sacrificed a lot of her desires to support your career, Sean, and be the primary caretaker of the children. I’m sure she woke up one day and the kids were almost out of the house and she was tired of putting up with your drunk rages.

  25. Lizzie K says:

    Not worth the time.

  26. Helvetica says:

    I am not a fan of Sean Penn because he always seems like an angry, bitter man, but I do like what he said about divorce here. Most people who experience a divorce feel exactly the same way.

  27. bns says:

    Around his age…Jessica Chastain??? She must really, really be lying about her age.

    And I love how actors are allowed to keep their wrinkles and age, but if he were a woman he’d be photoshopped into oblivion.

    • Becky1 says:

      Yes-I thought the same thing re: both of your points. I really don’t think Jessica Chastain is close in age to Sean Penn, though. It’s true-no magazine cover would “allow” a woman to look that weathered…she’d be majorly photo shopped. It’s a total double standard.

  28. tammylala says:

    Damn. Did he just say that Jessica Chastain was his age? Way to put somebody on blast.

  29. lola says:

    Maybe Sean never pondered the possibility that he is unloveable. Maybe some women, even good, loyal women, give up on assholes who cheat and abuse and snort their way through years of marriage.

    God, what a piece of work to say things like, knowing full well your children will read such crap about their mother. I’ve seen six year olds more formed than him emotionally.

  30. Chicagogurl17 says:

    This made me love robin wright so much more. She’s a better character actress than he is and a better person too. Team robin!

  31. Nev says:

    He sounds like he has a lot of regrets and is probably suffering from mild PTSD due to all the Haiti work.

  32. Dap says:

    The way I read it, he thought he was loved, then his wife asked for divorce and told him exactly what she thought of him and he still hasn’t recovered from that. And he is still so astonished that he has to share with us. It’s kind of funny, actually (and pathetic, yes…)

  33. OXA says:

    He is an angry controling narcisist with rage issues who would not know love if it bit him on his big nose.
    Remember hearing that he kidnapped Madonna, tied her up an held her hostage.

  34. mln76 says:

    What a colossal abusive d–khead. Robin Wright could have been such a huge star and gave it up to raise his kids. Madonna defended him even after he kidnapped and assaulted him. Yet he is the victim and such a good person because of Haití excuse me while I vomit.

  35. marie says:

    I like Penn as the actor and director but not much else. He’s quite full of himself and after reading this I’m shocked that Robin stuck around for as long as she did-she’s the only one he couldn’t suck the pretty out of..

  36. Mari says:

    Wow, does he live in a bubble or what!?

  37. Olivia says:

    “They’re just doing a bunch of monkey-f–k-rat movies, most actors and actresses.”

    Well, no wonder Kristen Stewart likes him. They’re both soldiers of authenticity against the Hollywood establishment (but please give me an Oscar). *eyeroll*

  38. HotPockets says:

    I don’t know if anyone caught this, but what?

    “when I think of the crew around my age: Daniel, Philip, Javier, Josh, Jessica Chastain”

    Is he calling out Jessica for lying about her age in a passive way?

    I’ve always thought he was such a d-bag, him summarizing his marriage and how no one has ever really loved him reminded me of a guy I dated on and off for a year, people who are that self deprecating are often the biggest a-holes, because it’s never their fault. Robin stuck by his side for years, despite all the nasty things he did and you’re going to say it wasn’t genuine? Someone who doesn’t love you, would have left in a heartbeat!

  39. ruby says:

    That last paragraph is gold. “So basically, Sean Penn is a douchey whiner with a martyr complex.” I believe everything has been said here.

  40. Dee Cee says:

    Bullies often complain you don’t really love or like me so…. It’s your fault I beat you up and laughed..

  41. Kaboom says:

    That’s probably because he’s a dick’s dick.

  42. hater from siloam springs says:

    Dear Sean Penn –

    oh f–k you. There has to be something more than a–hole for anyone to love it.

  43. Chickie Baby says:

    Wish he would get back into the director’s chair. He knows how to make a movie from behind the camera, and has made some seriously dramatic films that are great fun to watch. If he would get back to pouring that intensity into his movie making–with the current crop of actors he admires–he could continue to have a phenomenal career.

    Sean, find or write a script, and get after it!

  44. Ida says:

    It’s a tricky one for me.

    Some people, say Robin, are consistently good, devoted partners, no matter who they are with. They are usually kind, considerate, fair people in general and that comes across in the way they conduct relationships as well. I think what Sean Penn is talking about is not that he has actually never been loved but that he has never had a truly great love relation, the kind that defines someone for the rest of their lives. Take someone like Jack Nicholson, I’m quite certain that he has been loved by many women, and yet it is Angelica Huston who seems to have made an indelible mark on him. He still speaks about her and their relationship with a mixture of endearment and poignancy that is touching, especially considering who it’s coming from!

  45. k says:

    Met him and Robin at a bar once, she was pretty over it and he was pretty drunk. She is so beautiful in person, wow. And he is short. :)

  46. babythastarsshinebrite says:

    He’s a jerk, but a cool one.

  47. Minty says:

    My eyes almost rolled out of my head at this.

    Douche please, you are a legend in your own mind. You and Kristen Stewart are such rebels taking on the establishment. LOL, both of you have willingly played the Hollywood game of make-believe and made millions in the process.

    That’s the problem I have with some celebrities – they think they are irreplaceable. They also fancy themselves great humanitarians in their industry when, in fact, they risk very little. They spend a short time in a disaster area, write a check, get publicity and photo ops while there, then go back home to complacent lives of great comfort and luxury. A good deed and pat yourself on the back, but no reason to win a Nobel Prize.

    Yes, Sean is a good actor and has contributed to Haitian and Hurricane Katrina relief, but he’s a consistent jerk. He’s too busy loving himself to notice the love his ex-wives have given him. He has aged into a mean face, which I think is an outward reflection of who he is inside.

    Incidentally, I’m more impressed with celebrities who do charity work quietly with no fanfare and no cameras around, who also don’t mention it later in every other interview.

  48. Camille (TheOriginal) says:

    What an a**hole.

  49. Kim says:

    No one loves me enough screams personally (Axis II) disorder. I worked with enough of them as a mental health case manager. They are beyond exhausting. Nothing is ever enough.

  50. Eleonor says:

    He doesn’t want a woman. He wants a nanny 24/7, but he needs a shrink.

  51. j.eyre says:

    I am going to go a little off topic here. I am no fan of Mr. Penn’s as a person. However, many people in the comments have wondered why he can score such beautiful women. I think it is his intensity. Even reading this article, whether I agree with him or not, it is an almost emotional experience. He’s convictions overpower him and that bleeds through in all that he does. Just reading this article, I was left drained – not because of what he said but by how intensely he believes it.

    If I was a rudderless girl who had been gutted from some experience or just a person who absorbs another’s personality, this is the kind of guy I would go for. I don’t think it is his skill in bed that lands the Petras and Scarletts, I think they are blinded by his intensity. And when they “come to”, they do walk away without having loved him as he wanted – because it was never him they were attracted to but his intensity.

    I am not applying this to Robin – I adore her and am sure she does not deserve this treatment.

  52. Phil E Stein says:

    He’s under appreciated. If you look at his body of work: I am Sam, This Must Be The Place, Harvey Milk, Dead Man Walking, 21 Grams, he clearly has an acting range that is second none and is the best actor of his generation. He should also be commended for using his influence for helping those in need. He’s spot on about America being “pussified’ . The American people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world but the way a lot of Americans bitch and moan about how hard they’ve got it just goes to show how out of touch they are with the rest of the world.

  53. cp73 says:

    It’s funny I just recently saw that vid about voting with Kid Rock and I thought yes..that’s who he reminds me of..they look like drugged out slimy douchebag brothers from another mothers..

  54. K-MAC says:

    Drug addict/Alcoholic people never feel like they have been loved because they have a pit in their soul that will never be filled because they cannot stand who they are as a person. They think they are not worth loving no matter how much the outside world may love or adore them.

    Sean Penn is a freaking idiot who needs a hell of a lot of help, rehab, whatever just get it and STFU because I am so tired of his constant whining. He complains in a feeble and petulant manner…UGH! gross

  55. Chrissie Malcolm says:

    Sean doesn’t need the love of another when he loves himself so completely. BTW, could he have pushed out his stringy old bicep any more in the first photo?

  56. garvels says:

    So this stupid fool is worth millions and he is whining about not being loved?! This takes the cake. He is nothing but an arrogant philandering egomaniac who lectures everyone on how he alone saved Haiti. He stole Robin Wright’s best years as an actress. Robin sacrificed her career to cater to this creep!!!!!!!

  57. hally says:

    THIS DOUCHE. If I ever met him personally, I would probably yank off my shoe and take it to the side of his head. Men like him are the worst. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of shitty women out there, but men really seen to have the corner on this special kind of fu#kery. Robin Wright gave up her career, had his babies, raised them, dealt with his substance abuse, his rage, his infidelity, and gave him many chances to change. And what did she get? I’ll never forget when he won his oscar, she had just taken him back, and the look on her face said she loved him, she was so proud of him, so happy for him, listening so earnestly to his speech from the crowd, and that bastard pointedly did not thank her! So, really, go fu3k yourself Sean Penn, because you know nothing about basic decency or respect, to even begin talking about love.

  58. Tuxedo Cat says:

    Well, he’s very fond of himself….

  59. Maxine says:

    Ok, Robin Wright Penn – I hope you read this Esquire article. Anytime you even consider going back to this person, re-read this article.

  60. Moi says:

    What you’re last paragraph said 100%

  61. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    Did he say this before or after he removed the shot glass from his throat? Cuz this dude has a serious drinking problem which is where all of his abusiveness stems from.

    Man, I can’t imagine what Robin has had to put up with.

  62. Daisy says:

    Let me see if I understand the timeline: his son has a serious skateboard accident while in his care, once out of the hospital his son resides with the mother, and SP reacts with “I can actually go on a date”.

    As a divorced parent of a son in my care, this would NOT be my response to no longer having my son live with me even years later. My heart goes out to his children having to hear that their dad doesn’t feel truly loved. I realize that SP meant it a romantic sense, but still very hurtful and public. With this article about himself, SP has clearly, albeit inadvertently, established that it’s him that has the problem.

  63. Genevieve says:

    I think he’s amazing in so many ways. I just love what he has to say. And what he did for Haiti is above & beyond. But I would never want to date him or be married to him.

  64. crtb says:

    ITA.. he wouldn’t recognize love if it slapped him in the face. I believe Robin loved him very much for many years. And Madonna has said he was the love of her life. He’s a douch!