Sean Penn and President Zelenskyy © Office of the President of Ukraine/Cover Images
Sean Penn was honoured with Ukraine’s Order of Merit.
Sean Penn gave Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy one of his Oscar statuettes during a recent meeting.
During a recent visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the Hollywood actor gifted Zelenskyy one of his two Oscar trophies, according to a video shared by Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the minister of internal affairs of Ukraine.
“This is for you. 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,” Penn told Zelenskyy in the video. “When you win, bring it back to Malibu, because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”
In return, Zelenskyy presented Penn with Ukraine’s Order of Merit honour for his “sincere support and significant contribution to the popularisation of Ukraine in the world”.
Standing by a commemorative plaque bearing his name, the 62-year-old said, “There are three places in the world that all my pride of my life will be – the place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born and this. Thank you.”
The Milk actor has visited Zelenskyy several times since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. He was on the ground in the country making a documentary for Vice Studios when Russia launched its attack and he subsequently fled the nation with his crew.
Penn won the Best Actor Oscar for 2003’s Mystic River and 2008’s Milk.
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Oscar-winner Sean Penn has branded himself a hero both on-screen and off. The Mystic River star has long used his Hollywood power to mobilize and motivate change internationally. From humanitarian efforts in New Orleans and Haiti to political controversies, the likes of which have only been ventured by the bravest of journalists, Sean Penn has a history of boldly taking action for causes he cares about.