Hollywood star Sean Penn joins Ukrainian exodus to Poland on foot

Actor and director Sean Penn attends a press briefing at the presidential office in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential News Service/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

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March 1 (Reuters) – Days after visiting the Ukrainian capital Kiev to film scenes for his documentary about the Russian invasion, Hollywood actor-director Sean Penn found himself among thousands of refugees fleeing to Poland, joining the exodus on foot.

Penn, 61, posted a photo on his Twitter feed on Monday showing the movie star sporting a backpack and carrying wheeled luggage as he trudged along the shoulder of a road next to a line of cars stretching into the distance.

“Myself and two colleagues drove miles to the Polish border after dumping our car on the side of the road,” Penn said in a tweeted caption with the photo. “Almost all the cars in this photo are carrying only women and children, most with no sign of luggage, and a car is their only valuable asset.”

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The tweet did not explain why the Oscar-winning actor and his companions were forced to abandon their vehicle.

A spokeswoman in Los Angeles, Mara Buxbaum, told Reuters via email on Tuesday that Penn was “safely out of Ukraine.” She declined to answer any further questions about his whereabouts or the circumstances of his departure from Ukraine.

Penn was in Kyiv last Thursday to attend a press briefing at President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office on the first day of the Russian invasion, recording footage for a documentary chronicling the crisis, Zelenskiy’s office said in a statement to the era. Read more

“Sean Penn is among those supporting Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a display of courage and honesty,” the statement read.

He said Penn interviewed Ukrainian political and military figures as well as journalists as part of the production, for which he originally traveled to Ukraine in November.

In a statement last week, the acclaimed actor for his Oscar-winning roles in ‘Mystic River’ and ‘Milk’ hailed the people of Ukraine as ‘historic symbols of courage’ and called Ukraine ‘the cutting edge of the lance for the democratic embrace of dreams”. “

“If we allow him to fight alone, our soul as America is lost,” Penn wrote.

Penn, whose directorial credits include “Into the Wild” and “The Crossing Guard,” is also known for his political activism and involvement in various humanitarian causes, including relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and floods in Pakistan in 2012.

It made headlines in 2016 when Rolling Stone magazine published an interview Penn had secretly conducted with Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in his jungle hideout prior to the cartel leader’s arrest. .

Penn is producing the Ukraine documentary for Vice Studios, a US-Canadian digital media and broadcast company, according to Hollywood trade publication Variety.

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Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler

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