During his visit to Ukraine on Tuesday, Nov. 8, Hollywood actor Sean Penn presented one of his Oscars to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a symbol of his support for the nation’s battle against Russia’s brutal invasion.
The two-time Academy Award winner is seen providing the Ukrainian president the award during their gathering in the nation’s capital, Kyiv, in a video that Zelensky uploaded to Instagram on Tuesday, 8th November.
In the video, Penn told Zelensky, “It’s just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here with you, then I’ll feel better and strong enough for the fights,” adding “When you win, bring it back to Malibu because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”
In the Instagram caption, Zelensky stated that Penn “came to Ukraine for the third time during the full-scale war already.”
He went on to say, “This time our meeting was special,” adding that “Sean brought his Oscar statuette as a symbol of faith in the victory of our country. It will be in Ukraine until the end of the war.”
Zelensky awarded the actor with the Order of Merit of the III degree for his “sincere support and significant contribution to the popularisation of Ukraine in the world”.
Penn has won two Oscars, both for ‘Best Actor’ – one in 2004 for Mystic River, and the other in 2009 for Milk.
During his trip, Penn also told Zelensky: “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.”
Penn visited Ukraine earlier this year to begin filming a documentary about political unrest and the ongoing war.
As a result, Russian authorities permanently barred him from entering Russia.
“[It is] already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn’t relent, I believe [Russian president] Mr. [Vladimir] Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind,” he stated at the time.
“President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle,” he added. “Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams.”
In April of this year, Penn admitted to Hollywood Authentic magazine that he had even considered taking up arms for Ukraine.
“If you’ve been in Ukraine [fighting] has to cross your mind,” continuing on to say, “And you kind of think what century is this? Because I was at the gas station in Brentwood the other day and I’m now thinking about taking up arms against Russia? What the f— is going on?”