American actor and director Sean Penn is in Kiev to shoot a documentary about the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian president’s office said Thursday.
The double Oscar winner was photographed at a government press conference in Kiev, and was seen meeting Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video on the official Instagram account of the Ukrainian president.
“The director came to Kiev specifically to document all the happenings in Ukraine and as a documentary filmmaker to tell the world the truth about the Russian invasion of our country,” said a message in Ukrainian on the presidential office’s Facebook page.
“Today, Sean Penn is one of those who support Ukraine while in Ukraine. Our country is grateful to him for such a display of courage and honesty.”
The post added that “Penn shows the kind of courage that many others, including Western politicians, lack.”
Penn, who previously visited Ukraine and met military personnel in November, spoke to journalists and soldiers and “watched us defend our country,” according to the president’s office.
The 61-year-old “Milk” and “Mystic River” star is making a documentary for Vice Studios, according to NBC News.
Neither Vice nor Penn’s representatives immediately responded to AFP’s requests for comment.
His latest visit comes as invading Russian forces penetrate deep into Ukraine, with fighting raging on the outskirts of Kiev, and rockets and grenades raining down on multiple Ukrainian cities.
Penn has previously sparked controversy over his foray into politics and current affairs, especially after he and Mexican-American actress Kate del Castillo interviewed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman while he was on the run.
In 2018, Penn was said to be in Turkey to shoot an unreleased documentary about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate.