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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Sean Penn gives Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky one of his Oscars as ‘symbolic’ gesture

Sean Penn has gifted his Oscar to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The 62-year-old actor – who won the Academy Award for best actor in 2004 and 2009 for “Mystic River” and “Milk” respectively – presented one of the statuettes to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv as a symbolic gesture to the politician and the people of Ukraine.

In a video shared on the president’s Telegram channel, Penn told him: “It’s just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here then I’ll feel better and strong enough for the fights.

“When you win, bring it back to Malibu, because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”

The trophy will remain in the country until the end of the war with Russia.

In return, Penn was honoured with Ukraine’s Order of Merit.

Zelensky said: “It’s not from me, it’s from Ukraine.”

Penn added: “There are three places in the world that all the pride of my life will be. The place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born and this.”

The actor had previously promised to have his Oscar smelted if the Academy didn’t invite Zelensky to appear at the 2022 Oscars, even though doing so would have violated a rule prohibiting award winners from selling or disposing of the physical prize.

Penn said: “There is nothing greater that the Academy Awards could do than to give him that opportunity to talk to all of us.

“This is a man who understands movies and had his own very long and successful career in that.”

He said: “It is my understanding that a decision has been made not to do it. That is not me commenting on whether or not President Zelensky had wanted to.”

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