After a hiatus of more than two months, Sean Penn has finally returned to the sets of the UCP-produced Starz limited series, Gaslit, which is inspired by the popular Slate podcast, Slow Burn. In the series, he will be seen as Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell opposite Julia Roberts who will be playing his wife Martha. In July, the actor had refused to complete the production of the series until everyone on the set was fully vaccinated and reportedly his conditions have finally been fulfilled.
Deadline had reported back in July this year that Sean Penn had taken the decision to suspend shooting for Gaslit until everyone involved in the production had received the complete vaccination against COVID-19. His decision stemmed from the fact that he and the members of his CORE organization had worked hard since the pandemic began to ensure that testing and vaccination were available, thus leading to around 5.3 million tests and 1.7 million vaccines being administered. Thus, for Sean Penn, the prospect of returning to a set where several members were not vaccinated was a deal-breaker. Also, at the time, the Delta variant of the virus was spreading rapidly and was once again pushing the state governments to reinstate earlier safety protocols like wearing masks. So, the actor put forward the condition that he would only return to the shooting after everyone on the production had been vaccinated against the virus and even offered to help in the vaccination drive via his organization CORE.
It was reported that Sean Penn’s demand had put NBCUniversal in a difficult situation as the prospect of imposing mandatory vaccinations seemed a dicey possibility. Though they tried to put in other safety protocols to appease the actor, his condition was set in stone. Thankfully, it has now been confirmed that the actor and the studio have finally reached a compromise under which the entire crew that Penn has started shooting with has been vaccinated.
Post the revelation that Sean Penn had shot down the possibility of returning to the sets of Gaslit, the actor, in a chat with CNN, had explicitly stated that while he strongly supports some parts of the Second Amendment, people who are voluntarily not getting vaccinated are literally going around “pointing a gun in somebody’s face.” According to Penn, there are two types of people who are resisting the vaccine: ones who will take it once the FDA approves it and then there are those who have twisted the definition of being free and independent to warp it into a kind of “radical libertarianism and an identity of politic.” He feels this second faction has to understand that vaccination is the only means to nullify the threat of the coronavirus pandemic to lifestyles and economies around the world.
Apart from the upcoming limited series, Gaslit, Sean Penn will be next seen in the comedy-drama film Licorice Pizza along with Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, and Benny Safdie, in a yet undisclosed role. The two-time Oscar-winning actor recently co-starred with his daughter Dylan Penn in Flag Day, which opened at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews.