Sean Penn lends Oscar to Ukraine's Zelenskyy

'When you win, bring it back to Malibu,' Academy Award-winning actor tells Ukrainian leader

Actor Sean Penn gives an Oscar statuette to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. EPA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn has shown his support for Ukraine in a unique way: by lending one of his Oscar statuettes to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a recent visit to the country.

In a video posted on Mr Zelenskyy's Instagram account, Penn takes the Oscar statuette out of a bag and places it on a table in front of the Ukrainian president, saying: “This is for you. It’s just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here with you then I’ll feel better and stronger for the fight.”

He added: “When you win, bring it back to Malibu.”

In return, Mr Zelenskyy has presented Penn with the Order of Merit for strengthening relations, backing Ukraine's territorial integrity and helping to popularise the country, the president's office said.

Penn, known for his roles in I Am Sam, Mystic River and Milk, has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine over the course of the Russian invasion.

Due to his criticism of Moscow, the actor was included on a list of several US citizens hit with Russian sanctions in September.

Penn has made three wartime visits to Ukraine and is currently making a documentary in the country.

During one visit, he joined thousands of Ukrainian refugees making the journey to Poland on foot.

The actor has been involved in numerous international humanitarian and anti-war efforts over the years and founded the non-profit disaster relief organisation CORE in response to the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti.

Updated: November 10, 2022, 3:15 AM