Sean Penn was in Dublin on Election Night and, when the two-time Academy Award winner went to bed at around midnight local time, he was “confidently, arrogantly, supremely certain that the election would go to Hillary Clinton.” Then he awoke to “the new norm.” That’s from a new Daily Beast article penned by the actor and filmmaker that touches on Donald Trump, Fidel Castro and the overall state of the union, in which he also admits that “somewhere deep, deep inside though, I knew I should’ve known better.”
Penn, like many in Hollywood, is clearly disturbed and disappointed by Trump’s election. He’s also alarmed by the celebratory reactions to Castro’s death — including a tweet from the president-elect — and recounts a weeklong trip he once took to Havana that ended with Gabriel García Márquez introducing him to the Cuban dictator, whom Penn describes as having been “practiced, brilliant, and philosophical” in their hours-long exchange. The two “had a couple of exchanges of letters in the years that followed,” Penn notes. “I’d returned several times after, but never saw him again.”
“I am not dancing at the death of Fidel Castro. Nor am I celebrating him,” he then clarifies. “I’m remembering him. I’m thinking. Trying to protect the clarity of my own thoughts against this fog of pervasive simplification and anger.” Read his full essay here.