Sean Penn, America’s most intense Oscar-winnning actor and brickbat-earning patriot, has found a career to fall back on if the acting and directing doesn’t work out. Journalist. Back in June, Penn toured Iran in that totally committed way he has, and the San Francisco Chronicle is publishing his journal in five parts (Penn lives in the Bay Area). Reading it, one can imagine being there.
We were sitting in Nayeb restaurant in central Tehran. I’d been holding a piss through the hours of prayer service. So after I ordered my lunch, I excused myself to the men’s room. “Men’s” was written in Farsi above, and “Manly” in English below. I stepped into the water closet, grateful to just have to piss. If I’d had more serious business there, it would’ve been a squat job with no hook for one’s jacket. Now, that would’ve been manly.
Penn reads Farsi?