Sean Penn Says Parkland Students Might Make Him Write Fewer Dystopian Novels


In an interview with Late Show host Stephen Colbert, Sean Penn said the activism of the Parkland shooting survivors might lead him to write less dystopian fiction.

Penn’s new book, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, was released Tuesday, about a career assassin who feels the novel’s fictional president needs an intervention.

Asked if he’d been contacted yet by the secret service, Penn said the book was just fiction, but that it was “also a kind of venting.”

“This is a way to have a kind of operating room laughter, and not just spend my time angry or part of the divisive discussion or part of the culture, the complaint part of it,” he said.

But according to Penn, the book’s publishing came at a key moment capable of sparking political activism: the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school massacre.

The actor said the Parkland students inspired him.

All of a sudden you have these kids who not only have just gone under combat-level horror, which, you know, unless you hear indoors or against concrete walls and corridors what a weapon like that sounds like, and you’re seeing your friends maimed and killed, and within days of that, not only are they stating their case with incredible sobriety and articulate words, but in such an inclusionary way where you feel like there are reasonable people who have been on the other side of this conversation who are gonna listen to these kids. And you think to yourself, ‘thank God.'”

Penn said he felt that the movement for gun control could finally result in change, and possibly influence him to write more uplifting work.

“And now, if these kids and this movement of these kids will get together with people representing other issues and make this a more ubiquitous movement because…when they get the whole picture and they’re working together with other organizations, well, that’s gonna affect the ballot box and that’s gonna affect the culture, and then I might write a less dystopian book,” he said.

Watch the clip above, via the Late Show.

[Image via screengrab]

Follow Amy Russo on Twitter: @amymrusso

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: