At the New York Premiere of This Must Be the Place last night, we learned an important fact: Sean Penn would not make an attractive drag queen.
Eager—or at least curious enough—to see Sean Penn don lipstick, eyeliner, face powder, and furious black hair (in the same vein as The Cure's Robert Smith), for his role as the aging late '70s and '80s rocker, Cheyenne, we joined the Cinema Society for a screening with the cast. "When the director, Paolo Sorrentino, said, ‘Would you like to meet Sean?' I said ‘No'... you'll see why I didn't want to meet him," Penn's co-star, Judd Hirsch, joked about his appearance in the film.
Sadly, Penn was not in attendance last night. We were informed that the actor was feeling "under the weather" and no one, not even Harvey Weinstein, could coax him from his sick bed. "Sean—don't worry, because you don't want to see him like this," Hirsch assured us. "When that guy is sick, I'm telling you, he really looks it."
But we were not too disappointed; we did not come to see Sean Penn, the man. We came to see Penn, the befuddled former rock star, who trades in his very monotonous life in his Irish mansion, to wander around America with a suitcase in tow and hunt a Nazi.
Representing the cast alongside Hirsch was Eve Hewson, Bono's daughter, who plays Penn's much younger, goth-leaning friend in the film. "The first Sean Penn movie I saw was probably I Am Sam," Hewson told us. "But I was too young to understand. When I knew I was going to work with him, I watched some of his first movies, stuff like Bad Boys . Have you ever seen that movie? It's pretty good," she finished.
Other guests in attendance included: Harvey Weinstein, Ron Bozman, Gerard Butler, Patrick Stewart, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, Karolina Kurkova, James Van Der Beek, Anson Mount, Gary Busey, Judah Friedlander, Ellen von Unwerth, Princess Alessandra Borghese, Stella Schnabel, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir.