You might know Sean Penn from such critically acclaimed films as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Milk and Mystic River but, lately, the 57-year-old actor, filmmaker and political activist has been moving his career in a different direction. He can now add author to his resume as Penn recently released his debut novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. Vogue recently met up with the fledgeling novelist to discuss his inspiration for the book and where he plans to go with his career in the future. In regards to the book, he explained how great it is to have something that is all his own and to have the creative liberty to do whatever he wants with the material. He went on to talk about how he got tired of having to work with others in the film industry and so the book frees him up to go his own way and let his individuality shine through.
And he’s not done yet. In the interview, he revealed Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff will not be his only novel as he already has another in the works. While he does plan to continue acting, he does not currently have any film projects in the works at the moment. The book first began as an audiobook narrated by Penn himself, Frances McDormand and a whole cast of talented actors. The book comes across as a satire of American life and has come under fire for the thinly-veiled criticisms of the Trump administration. In one scene, Bob writes a scathing letter to this Trump character.
In another scene, five police officers get shot in Texas and the titular character views it as a representation of the role in which the media plays in our society. Many of the book’s elements stem from Penn’s recent dissatisfaction with the film industry and desire to get away from the bright lights of Hollywood. He has said his novel is not intended to be an opinion piece and should not be perceived as such. His writing style may not be for everyone but that’s exactly the point he’s trying to make.