Sean Penn is one of Hollywood's most admired actors when it comes to his talent, but when his personal life is called into question it is quite a different story. Throughout his career, Penn has made news for all of the wrong reasons - particularly for being a total ass. In 2018, he was widely condemned for smoking on a Late Night appearance. However, considering the actor's track record of violent behavior, that's pretty mild. Penn is known to be an actor and director who can be a nightmare to work with, and some of these true Sean Penn stories are simply terrifying.
From his infamous run-ins with the law to his history of violent behavior, these nightmarish stories about the infamous Hollywood bad-boy cannot be missed.
For many, this 1988 incident is when Penn went from being a bad boy to just being a bad person.
The story was first brought to the public eye after Penn filed a defamation lawsuit against director Lee Daniels. Daniels mentioned Penn when he was defending actor Terrence Howard, stating, “[Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f*ckin' demon.”
While Madonna defended her ex-husband saying, “Sean never struck me, ‘tied me up,’ or physically assaulted me, and any report to the contrary is completely outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false,” skeptics point to the fact that reports do in fact exist stating that Madonna called the police on Penn in 1988. Lt. Bill McSweeney of the LAPD even admitted, “I hardly recognized her as Madonna. She was weeping, her lip was bleeding, and she had obviously been struck.”
Penn is known to take his roles very seriously, but in his 1989 Vietnam War flick, Penn took his methods a bit too far, almost forcing actor John Leguizamo to quit. As Leguizamo told Hollywood.com:
“[When] my character refuses and Sean’s gotta slap me into submission, and of course, Sean doesn’t believe in stage combat because he’s too method for that sh*t, so he’s slapping me for real… We’re on the 13th take and my face [is] out to here and you can’t even understand the dialogue I’m saying and [director] Brian de Palma’s going, ‘We have to do it one more time, John, it was out of focus.’ So it’s ‘whack’ and ‘whack’ and I’m about to quit and then they cut the scene out of the movie.”
Throughout his career, Penn has been an A-list star who apparently hates the spotlight, which is always a rather strange mindset for a world-renowned celebrity to have. And that state of mind was on full-display when he caught a fan snapping an unapproved pic of him. Apparently, catching Penn off guard is a terrible idea, as this fan learned when Penn turned to him and aggressively exclaimed, "Do we look like f*cking zoo animals?... I'll make you eat the phone... Get the f*ck out of here. Get out of here!" Alright, Sean, message received.
In a 1996 Rolling Stone article titled, “Sean Penn: Cool Jerk,” journalist Chris Mundy describes how he was witness to some very strange behavior when Penn decided it was unnecessary for him to go to the bathroom to, well, go to the bathroom.
Mundy recounts the strange interaction:
“He recites jokes, he tells stories, he finishes urinating. Almost. ‘I need another bottle,’ says Penn. He sets the brimming vessel in front of him, and the room erupts with laughter. He of the enormous bladder grins, and a second bottle is placed in his left hand before it quickly disappears under the tablecloth... Relief.”