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Sean Penn on Working With Steve Bannon in the 1990s: ‘You Can’t Age Like That Without Hating People’ — Watch

Bannon produced Penn's 1991 film "The Indian Runner."

Sean PennHaiti Takes Root Benefit Dinner and Auction, Arrivals, New York, USA - 05 May 2017

Sean Penn

Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

Though best known for being an Oscar-winning actor and critically panned author, Sean Penn also directs movies of his own every now and again. One of them is 1991’s “The Indian Runner,” which was produced by none other than Steve Bannon (yes, that Steve Bannon). Asked about working with the future advisor to Donald Trump by Conan O’Brien, Penn held nothing back: “I would say he exerted the same level of charm that he does today,” he said.

“My first sense of him is that he was, you know, other than this c-word ‘charming,’ I think it was ‘crook,’ I think is what I thought,” Penn added before adding, “I didn’t even know it was the same Steve Bannon until I looked at him closely and imagined the Steve Bannon I knew, but where the toxins of the soul so deteriorate and bloat and meld into this — I don’t think you can age like that without hating people. So that’s my impression of him.”

“It’s worth recognizing, not being in denial about it,” Penn said of the dire political climate. “We’re in a time, I think it is important to keep up the culture, so I’m not ashamed to be here with talented people and with you all talking about this stuff. If I were a news anchor, I think rather than reporting, I’d pull a file alarm every night — and keep doing it until somebody realized there was a fire.”

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