Former co-star of Sean Penn’s: ‘shut up’


Sean Penn is one of the few actors that I can really, effectively separate in my mind from his own douchey personality to his mind-blowing acting talent. I really believe that Sean is one of the great actors working today, and most likely the best actor of his generation. His personality, his politics, his arrogance, his misogyny, and his general smugness are almost enough to make me hate the guy though. Almost.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one disturbed by the douche/secondhand-DeNiro dichotomy of Sean Penn. A former co-star of Penn’s from Colors, Venezuelan-American actress Maria Conchita Alonso, spoke out about how Sean Penn really just needs to shut the f–k up about everything political, especially Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. PR Inside has more:

Actress Maria Conchita Alonso has blasted her “Colors” co-star Sean Penn for his outspoken political views about her native Venezuela, insisting he should “shut up” and stop showing his support to the country’s “killer” president, Hugo Chavez.

Milk star Penn has voiced his admiration for Chavez on numerous occasions – the actor visited the politician in 2007, when he was writing an article about the leader, and caught up with him again in 2008.

In a 2007 interview following his first trip to the South American country, Penn said: “The first thing I’m going to say is that we know more lies about him in the United States than we know truth. If you want a soundbite from me about Chavez, then I would say that, for the moment, he’s much more positive for Venezuela than he is negative.” And while Alonso, who appeared alongside Penn in the 1988 film, admits Penn is a great actor, she is angry he is publicly backing Chavez, who has been criticised for his controversial leadership.

She tells, “He’s an amazing actor, I can’t take that away from him. It’s just that he has no clue at all what’s going on in Venezuela. He’s praising Hugo Chavez, who’s a killer and a dictator. I tried to put aside his political thing that he has no clue (about), so he should just shut up about what he doesn’t know.” And the Latina was particularly incensed when she saw Penn win the Best Actor Oscar at last month’s (Feb09) Academy Awards.

She recalls, “I put it on mute. I was watching in my room… So when his turn came, I mute it (sic). When he comes on stage (to collect the prize), I was like, ‘No!’”

[From PR Inside]

All I can think of to say to that is “amen”. And before the first-amendment police come out and hunt me, I get it. Sean Penn is an American, it’s his right – nay, his duty- to speak, to inform, to criticize, to participate in our democracy, like all people. We should debate, we should disagree, we should petition and appeal and all of those juicy things. But I still want Sean Penn to shut up. Not because everything that comes out his mouth is wrong – it’s not, he gets it right sometimes in my opinion. He needs to shut up because by speaking out on all of his “causes” he ultimately hurts those efforts because people think he’s a douche and they run the other way.

Here’s Sean Penn leaving the Four Seasons Hotel after having lunch with Mickey Rourke on Tuesday. Images thanks to Pacific Coast News.

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39 Responses to “Former co-star of Sean Penn’s: ‘shut up’”

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  1. pixiegirl says:

    Right on, Kaiser. I think SP is a great actor as well. And he appears to be a somewhat thoughtful person. But he does need to shut up. As a left leaning person, I am constantly annoyed at fellow lefties like SP thoughtlessly gravitating to Anti-American stuff/people (like HC). It look so cliche and stupid. Yes, HC is anti Bush, and as far as I can tell, that seems to be his only redeeming quality.

  2. geronimo says:

    Let’s put Sean and Bono in a room together and lock the door.

    And yes, agree re him being a fantastic talent but as a human being, he’s an egotistic malcontent.

  3. Rreedy says:

    WHy doesn’t he move to Venezuela and set up housekeeping with CHavez since he is so pro-socialist. SP has no sense whatsoever and very little talent.
    The man is a joke.

  4. boomchakaboom says:

    I’ve been to Venezuela but I think Mr. Penn and myself kept very different company. I was hanging with the locals, and they are very much pro-American. I think about my old friends a lot, and it makes me feel bad for them to have Hugo Chavez as president.

    (you just haven’t lived till you’ve belted out Feliz Navidad in a bar, on a beach, with a bunch of spanish speaking strangers who keep drunkenly hugging you and shouting Merry Christmas!)

  5. Chiara says:

    I was pleased Penn spoke on Prop 8 and equality … and no doubt he is influenced by his experience with Van Sant and Lance Black. But Penn speaking on International affairs, no thank you.

  6. Tia says:

    Sean Penn is awesomee and a wonderful human being for taking a stand on decency and basic human rights. HE IS WONDERFUL !!!!!!

  7. barneslr says:

    He is a crappy, self-congratulating, psuedo-intellectual wannabe pundit and an average actor, at best. There is just nothing there to respect about him.

  8. sissoucat says:

    Yeah, Sean Penn, shut up and stop abusing our Princess Bride !

  9. becca says:

    I just realized an argument that would tilt in favor of Sean Penn “shutting up”

    Penn smashes actresses that have side projects like being spokespersons for makeup products and jewelry campaigns. Yet here Penn is being outrageously outspoken politically. People can say that it’s essentially the same thing, and that Penn needs to shut up and do his primary job: an actor and an entertainer.

    Now personally, I don’t mind him speaking in favor of gay rights. I think it’s great, and he was most likely influenced by his experience in Milk. But he really truly needs to shut his trap in the realm of International Affairs and leave that to the people who actually know what they’re doing.

  10. Bob says:

    The sad thing is that if Penn’s political opinion just happened to be on the right instead of the left, he’d HAVE TO shut up or risk never being allowed to work.

  11. Gracie says:

    Really Bob? Charlon Heston is about as right as you can get and it doesn’t seem to have stopped him from working and being in a ton of great movies and not only that, but being a film legend.

    There are lots of “right wing” actors out there who ARE outsoken and they get lots of work.

  12. Kevin says:

    Bad logic Gracie. Heston was already a legend before he started that nonsense.

  13. daisy424 says:

    I second that Geronimo. I want a front seat and a bucket of popcorn.

    Gracie, Heston was a Democrat until the 80′s when he changed to the Republican party and campaigned for Reagan.

    “There are lots of “right wing” actors out there who ARE outspoken and they get lots of work.”
    Can you define “lots” and who are they?

  14. Feebee says:

    Sean’s an amazing actor but his outspokenness gets on my tits. Sometimes I think he says something controversial, just to be so. Not that I don’t believe he believes in what he’s saying.

    As for Heston thing… I’m 37 and so I don’t remember how he became an acting legend. I just remember the whack job head of the National Rifle Association. That’s a shame. Yet I know Paul Newman for on and off-screen pursuits. If I were Penn, I’d know who I’d rather be remembered as.

  15. Michele says:

    Celebrities need to stfu about politics in general. Penn, Clooney, etc… you’re paid to act, not be pundits. The sad part is, some people are dumb enough to allow their political views to be influenced and swayed by these celebs, yet the same people probably couldn’t even name their state senators. Sad.

  16. Rosanna says:

    Personally, I think that a lot of people who are mad at Penn are mad because he is supporting a socialist politician (who doesn’t go well in the US). If he were supporting some other US-endorsed politician whackjobs, nobody would dare saying “shut up”. Wake up guys and girls! American is the land of freedom and that applies to what you don’t like too (and in fact I didn’t like his prop 8 stance). Nobody should be told to shut up in America!!!!!

  17. marica says:

    Maria Conchita Alonso is actually Cuban.
    She just lived and worked in Venezuela before she moved to L.A.

    Good or bad, Chavez was deposed once and Venezuela took him back so it is their business if he is still governing there and no one else’s.

  18. Trillion says:

    Artists, especially really good ones, tend to be on the left. It’s an empathy thing I think. There are, of course, conservative artists/actors/producers as well. (Jerry Bruckheimer, Clint Eastwood, Stephen Baldwin, Angie Harmon, Kelsey Grammar, Ben Stein, Shannon Doherty, Sam Raimi, Dennis Hopper, Duane Johnson, Vince Vaughan to get a list going) but let’s face it: They’re not the ones making the really good stuff. Fear might win in politics, but love rules the realm of art.

  19. LOL says:

    He’s american? I didnt know that it was an american right to speak about whatever you want, I thought it was universal. Go figure.

  20. mattchew says:

    Chavez is the duly elected President of Venezuela and is hugely popular amongst his citizens whether we like it or not. He has conducted a number of directly democratic referendums and has respected the results of each one. Alonso is a right wing hack who’s in bed with the wealthy Venezuelans, who of course oppose Chavez’s reforms. Penn is a great actor and has every right to speak his opinion.

  21. Biloxi2SF says:

    The Patriot Act pretty much took away the common man’s ability to speak out openly against our government so we need “credible” and “informed” celebrities to do it for us. Are all celebrities credible and informed? Absolutely not. But not all news programs are actually more than gossip sites either. Although I don’t agree with Sean Penn’s view on Chavez, I appreciate him for the work he did in New Orleans when the Bush Administration just watched a city drown. And I admire him for the actions he has taken on the fight against the hatred and bigotry of Prop 8 and the need for a day in California to recognize the importance of Harvey Milk and what he accomplished. Mr. Penn has also donated large amounts of money and time to many charities here in the Bay Area, including education. Instead of other celebrities bashing him for his beliefs or causes, I say join him or (since they already have access to the power of the media), fight him. What is Ms. Maria Conchita- Alonso doing for her people in Venezuela while living and earning American dollars? It is one thing to tell Sean Penn to shut up in the media; but, it is another thing to offer an opposing and intelligent counterpoint to his view. But then again by just telling him to shut up, Ms. Alonso received publicity for her C-list name. Take that Hugo Chavez!

  22. Veronica says:

    Mattchew, you should just shut up. You know absolutely nothing of Venezuelan politics. Hugo Chavez has a false “democracy” set up in Venezuela that is actually a dictatorship. I am a Venezuelan who had to leave because with that monster as president there is no future in Venezuela. Sean Penn is an amazing actor but he should stick to politics in the US because his actions and comments on something that is so obviously wrong and has nothing to do with him are completely unnecessary.

  23. Lisa says:

    well, I’ve seen a few very political films. Films are not only entertainment. (Let’s exclude Disney and blockbuster-hollywood productions here)
    So why shouldn’t an actor be interested and outspoken about politics?
    Seems like there is still no freedom of speech if you don’t have the opinion everybody else in your country seems to have…sad.
    You just won’t be punished by the government , but by ‘the society’.

  24. Codzilla says:

    Trillion: Come on now, you can’t knock Sam Raimi! The Evil Dead series is a masterpiece (and still one of my favorite pastimes).

  25. hmm says:

    I think it’s great that we live in a country where any citizen has the right to speak on any issue. Alonso has the right to her opinion and it is no more or less valid than Penn’s. Bob, it is also beyond time to get over the false notion that there is a litmus test in Hollywood based on politics. There are many conservative Republicans working in Hollywood and they are not discriminated against in any way. That is a canard that has proven false time and time again. I don’t remember anyone giving Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Gary Sinise, Bruce Willis or any other Republican a hard time because they are not liberals. The only thing Hollywood cares about is money and they don’t care what your opinions are as long as you’re making it.

  26. mark says:

    And Maria Conchita Alonzo is relevent because… I think she is trying restart her mediocre (at best) career, and whats the best way to do that? Yalk smack about the guy that just won an oscar..O hope there is a Colors 2 script floating aroung somewhere

  27. Biloxi2SF says:

    Wow, Veronica, I can appreciate your passion, but if you are truly a political refugee or are living here because you are one of the lucky ones to be wealthy enough to leave Venezuela and live elsewhere, I think you could have used this comment section as a forum to educate others as to what living in Venezuela was like for you under Chavez and his dictatorship. Instead of being disrespectful and rude to Mattchew by telling him to “shut up,” explain to him the flaws you see in his comments. What a perfect opportunity you had to share your first hand experience and you chose to be obnoxious. You now have free speech and if you really care about the future of Venezuela speak out to others…don’t just tell them to shut up and put the channel on mute like Ms. Alonso.

  28. morgs says:

    Sean Penn is awesomee and a wonderful human being for taking a stand on decency and basic human rights. HE IS WONDERFUL !!!!!!

    Oh Tia, thanks for making me laugh on this rainy afternoon.

  29. ak says:

    “The Patriot Act pretty much took away the common man’s ability to speak out openly against our government”

    Really? How? How exactly has the Patriot Act done this? Cuz here you are, on the Internet, saying what you want. Are you at risk? And here’s Sean Penn yakking away. What dank prison is he rotting away in?

    And the first amendment states that Congress shall make no laws that infringe on the freedom of speech. CONGRESS. CONGRESS. An actor harping about his favorite cause and others disagreeing with him is. not. a. first. amendment. issue.

  30. Trillion says:

    Codzilla, I’m so very sorry to be the bearer of bad news. *sigh*. They can have Chuck Norris, Ted Nugent, Ahhhnold, and the rest of the list. But Raimi, yeah, that’s one’s hard to take.

  31. Mucuchies says:

    I agree with Biloxi2SF comment!
    I’m a Venezuelan, living in Venezuela, supporting my President and his ideas.
    What can you say of a lady (Ms. Alonso) whose brother was accused of supporting a group of armed guys in order to kill Chávez? And later she comes here saying that Chávez is the worst thing on Earth and walk away freely to her house in LA… try to say half of the things she had said about another President (i.e.Obama, Bush)and you’ll be in jail.

    BTW, Ms. Alonso is Cuban, not Venezuelan and her “career” totally sucks!

  32. CHE says:

    all of you got your heads stuck up your culos………….R3VOLUCION !!!

  33. loulou says:

    Chavez was elected, and if he was a murderer he wont be where he is, u dont know shit poor little chick ,LIVNI and Nethanyahou are THE muderers, VIVA CHAVEZ!!

  34. michael says:

    personally I lvoe him (don’t hate) and am glad he cares enough about stuff to be himself and speak his mind. The misogyn stuff though blows.

  35. Aspen says:

    Do you even know what misogyny means?

    Chavez is a murderer. Period.

  36. veronica says:

    I am venezuelan and LIVE in venezuela, and there’s nothing democratic about chavez referendums, it was all FRAUDE, buying votes with goverments money, corruption, violence, violation of human rights and no freedom for journalists who were attacked if they were not on chavez side , so everyone else who doesn’t live here HAS SHUT THE FUCK OFF. And by that i mean that big bag of douchery called sean penn!

  37. Michelle says:

    He really should shut up. He doesn’t even live in Venezuela! How the hell could he know if Chavez is positive or negative for Venezuela, for that he would have to have lived there for at least 15 years so he could tell the difference from when Chavez wasn’t president to our present where he is destroying the country. He should really shove his head into his ass because that’s where it belongs.

  38. JackB says:

    “Seems like there is still no freedom of speech if you don’t have the opinion everybody else in your country seems to have…sad.
    You just won’t be punished by the government , but by ‘the society’. ”

    Lisa, I really don’t think you understand the First Amendment because if you did you’d realize that it protects people from government. It doesn’t protect people from criticism. Actually, if it did prevent society from criticizing Penn that would be about as far away from freedom of speech as you can get.

  39. tich tran says:

    Hitler was also elected you left wing nut.