Sean Penn recounted his meeting with Vladimir Putin and Jack Nicholson at the premiere of his film The Pledge at the Moscow Film Festival in 2001.
During an interview with The Independent, the 62-year-old revealed they travelled with the president to Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov’s estate, “We were put in a convoy. We knew that Putin was going to be the honoured guest.
“In the nature of that time and space, we accepted the invitation. We got in this convoy. And we were going as fast as they wanted to drive, with no care for whether it might have presented a danger in the villages we drove through.
When farmers with pony-driven carts were trying to come across, the security people in our vehicles would lean out the window to baton them away. It was so needlessly aggressive.”
Calling Putin a “creepy little bully,” Penn added that the experience gave him a “cold, ugly feeling” about his rule in Russia.
Moreover, the Oscar winner also visited Ukraine last February to record a documentary about the Russian invasion.
The Office of the President of Ukraine released a statement at the time, “The director specifically came to Kyiv to record all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country.”
Last September, Putin-ruled Russia permanently banned the entry of Penn and Ben Stiller, along with 23 more US citizens.
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