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Friday 23 March 2018

Sean Penn attacks the ‘obscene disease’ of celebrity at Irish movie premiere

Sean Penn with Eve Hewson. Photo: Getty Images
Sean Penn with Eve Hewson. Photo: Getty Images
Sean Penn described being a celebrity as like having 'a disease'. Photo: Getty Images

THE Oscar winning actor Sean Penn used the promotion of his new movie filmed last year in Dublin, to lash the cult of celebrity as being 'cheap'.

Sean Penn, who plays a rock musician who turns his back on stardom in This Must Be The Place, has launched a furious attack on the cult of celebrity in a speech at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Penn, whose film has its premiere at the Festival in Utah, said: "Turning one's back on stardom might be the highest form of common sense. One that I would aspire to be more complete with. I don't think it's an overstatement to say that it's an obscene disease of celebrity that's taken over far too much of the life that we do live. I think it's a disease. I think that it's diminished the quality of life. Not particularly for the people who are the focus of it, though that is clearly something that I've been compromised by. But for the culture at large, there is this kind of herd commitment . . . I think it's just become cheap."

The film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, stars Penn as Cheyenne, a former pop icon whose look was inspired by Robert Smith of the Cure. The childlike Cheyenne has left behind the glamour of his old life and now lives quietly in Ireland with his firefighter wife, played by Frances McDormand.

After his father's death, lost soul Cheyenne embarks on a road trip across the United States to track down a former Nazi who brutalised his dad in a concentration camp.

He promoted the movie at the festival with Eve Hewson, Bono’s daughter who also stars in the movie.

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