Actor To Act Like Harvey Milk

Sean Penn Playing Gay

Sean Penn will play the legendary – and late – Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant’s forthcoming biopic of the slain San Francisco city supervisor.

Matt Damon‘s tentatively attached to play Milk’s assassin, Dan White.

White shot down Milk on November 27, 1978. He also killed Mayor George Mascone. White received a seven-year sentence and committed suicide in 1985.

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  • Heather_L_James

    Will Matt Damon be gorging himself on Hostess and Little Debbies for the role of Dan White? Ooh maybe they can get the Republican Presidential hopefuls to play the idiot jury that actually bought the “twinkie defense”.

  • Jack Jett

    Sean Penn……


    Jack Jett

  • Leland Frances

    Van Sant is one of the most overrated “name” directors on the planet. “My Own Private Idaho” is only good in the scenes in which Reeves and Phoenix are alone and the “director” lets their natural repressed sexuality and bond with each other unfold. The rest is wretchedly unwatchable. “Good Will Hunting” is the only good film with his name attached to it and that is primarily because of the great script and performances that he, by pure chance, was unable to smother to death as he has most everything else he’s touched. People remember “To Die For” only because someone Hipper Than Thou told them they were supposed to.

    If this casting is true, it is only further proof he is less auteur than autistic. Penn can act but one finds it impossible to imagine him acting his way sufficiently out of his perpetual soured beer expression to convey the joie de vivre that Milk had as well as his ability to inspire. He might work as Milk’s corpse, however.

    Damon could work with a lot of effort and a hair dye job, but his “baby face” would work against him. Otherwise he is HUGE box office and his last two films are the two I’ve enjoyed the most in the last year.

    The average filmgoer can’t name four movies by van Sant, let alone four they actually treasure. It’s dangerous using hoi polloi as a touchstone for much of anything but many could name at least one person they’ve heard is “a great filmmaker” and the chances of that being van Sant are nil.

    Another reason Penn is a horrible choice is that he is hated by Middle America as the equivalent of a modern day “Hanoi Jane [Fonda].” The unfairness of that characterization is beside the point. They, far more than the average gay person, need to see gay-affirming films and casting Penn would be just another excuse for them to stay away even if the film did turn out to be as excellent which, again, is unlikely with van Sant helming it.

    Only two of Penn’s 30+ films have grossed over $50 million in the US. Even the six-Oscar nominated, two-Oscar winning, icon Clint Eastwood-directed “Mystic River” only brought in $90 million. Even including “Mystic River’s” worldwide grosses, “Brokeback Mountain” brought in more. His last film, even with his Oscar for “Mystic,” grossed less than $9.5 million worldwide which, with a production budget of $55 million, means it lost $45+ million.

    Only four of Van Sant’s films have grossed more than $20 million. Whatever else one might say about the director allegedly also working on a Milk bio, Bryan Singer, three of his five films have grossed over $150 million domestically.

  • Rowen

    This might be a nit picky thing . . . and I’m sure they can do a lot with technology, but wasn’t Harvey Milk tall? Sean Penn looks and acts like a terrier. . . I mean, short man. I guess if a straight actor can play a gay one, a short straight actor can play a tall gay man.

  • Tallskin

    Leland you say: that the great unwashed, far more than the average gay person, need to see gay-affirming films.

    Not sure that most straights would go to see a film with even a remotely gay theme – (straight women would, maybe) – so fuck ’em. Don’t worry about them. And stop worrying about what straights think of gays. Fuck them.

  • Leland Frances

    I don’t care what they “think” about us, Tallskin, but I do care about how they continue to block gay equality in all kinds of practical ways, when they or their children aren’t brutalizing or killing us. They learned that behavior and they can unlearn it.

    But do send us snapshots of the planet you live on.

  • hisurfer

    I must be hipper than them – I thought To Die for was excellent, that Sean Penn is fine by me.

  • hisurfer

    So hip I don’t even need to use proper grammar. Make that “that” an “and” and the sentence might make more sense.

  • Gregg

    Dear Sweet Leland – do you have your own blog? If not, maybe you should. Perhaps then you wouldn’t feel the need to copy and past practially word for word your incredibly long winded blather on various blog comment sections.

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