As battle raged in Ukraine, Sean Penn was on the scene.
The politically active actor was spotted Thursday in the first row of a press briefing in Kyiv, where high-ranking Ukrainian officials were discussing the day’s invasion by Russia — and in a meeting with the country’s president.
The 61-year-old “Dead Man Walking” star has apparently been working on a documentary about escalating tensions in the country since last year, and flew to Ukraine early this week to get a firsthand look at the war.
Wearing sunglasses and a bomber jacket, a haggard-looking Penn appeared to be listening closely to the briefing held at the President’s Office, although it wasn’t clear if he speaks Ukrainian.
Later on, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted an Instagram story Thursday showing a meeting between him and Penn in a sparsely decorated room.
Penn has already spoken to the deputy prime minister and military members since landing, Newsweek reported.
“Sean Penn demonstrates the courage that many others, especially Western politicians lack. The more such people in our country now, true friends of Ukraine, who support the struggle for freedom, the sooner it will be possible to stop Russia’s treacherous attack,” the Ukrainian embassy told Newsweek in a translated statement, expressing its gratitude for his visit and approval of the documentary.
Last November, the actor was seen wearing a flak jacket and helmet to talk to fighters on the border of Russia and Ukraine, months before war officially broke out. A rep for VICE Media told the Post that Penn is working on the doc with VICE Studios and their news team.
The two-time Oscar star has a reputation for showing up to danger zones. He went to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, where he was photographed rescuing people stranded by the storm.
He went to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and helped refugees there. He also once dined with infamous drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and did a secret interview with him.
Reps for Penn did not immediately return a request for comment.