In a recent visit to Kyiv, Sean Penn met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to further express his support for Ukraine amid Russia’s military invasion of the country. During their encounter, Penn gifted one of his two Oscar statuettes to Zelenskyy as a gift.
The exchange was featured in a video shared by Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the minister of internal affairs of Ukraine.
“This is for you. 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,” Penn tells Zelenskyy in the video. “When you win, bring it back to Malibu, because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”
After a series of handshakes, Zelenskyy proceeds to take Penn outside to reveal an Order of Merit honor to the actor for his “sincere support and significant contribution to the popularization of Ukraine in the world.” Penn’s name is shown featured in a commemorative plaque dedicated to the actor.
“There are three places in the world that all my pride will be — the place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born and this. Thank you,” Penn says.
Penn has been one of Hollywood’s most outspoken supporters of Ukraine during the ongoing military conflict. In February, the actor was on the ground in Ukraine filming a documentary for Vice Studios. The actor has met with President Zelenskyy on several occasions since.
The actor had previously vowed to publicly “smelt” his Oscars if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences elected against asking Zelenskyy to speak during the telecast of the 2022 awards ceremony. While Zelenskyy did not appear at this year’s Oscars, a formal statement expressing support for Ukraine was made during the ceremony.
Penn has won two Academy Awards for best actor over his career, the first for 2003’s “Mystic River” and the second for 2008’s “Milk.”
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