Is Sean Penn a spy? Actor by day, CIA government spy by night? Conspiracy theorists are arguing that Hollywood's Sean Penn is actually a spy.Sean Penn started his acting career with a small role in the tv series Little House on the Prairie, which was directed by his father Leo Penn. Following his feature film debut in 1981, Penn landed several hit movies including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Carlito's Way, and Dead Man Walking. Penn would then receive several Oscar nominations for Woody Allen's comedy-dramaSweet and Lowdown (1999) and the drama I Am Sam (2001), before winning his first Academy Award for Best Actor in 2003 for Mystic River and a second one in 2008 for Milk. But, as news went viral this weekend that El Chapo was arrested after an interview with Sean Penn, Twitter went crazy asking: Is Sean Penn a spy? Sean Penn met with the drug lord El Chapo in a remote secret jungle to ask him a few questions about Donald Trump, the film industry and violence in the drug industry. Supposedly, the interview for Rolling Stone was part of a research project to develop a Netflix-style drama about El Chapo and his prison break. Although Sean Penn argues that he went above and beyond to hide the meeting from government officials, the details surrounding the meeting has conspiracy theorists going crazy. There is also speculation that Sean Penn was asked by the CIA to locate the drug lord, just like screenwriters were hired to make Argo in order to free United States hostages in Iran in 1979. Since the interview went public, many fans referenced the 1985 movie The Falcon and the Snowman, in which Sean Penn plays a CIA informant.
Maybe Sean Penn is a super-secret, double naught spy. Blueteaux Fett (@bleuteaux) January 11, 2016
Sean Penn: actor, activist, investigative reporter, spy master, God Chase (@ChalexTheGreat) January 10, 2016
Some possibilities: Sean Penn is a government spy Sean Penn doesn't use PGP Sean Penn is a terrible actor https://t.co/W7AyBjuT0o Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) January 10, 2016
Sean Penn, American Spy. Web Smith (@web) January 10, 2016
The cartel boss was captured on Friday in a 4am raid by Mexican marines and was returned to Altiplano jail. The two-time Oscar-winning actor's meeting with El Chapo led to a major shoot out in which several people were killed and El Chapo was eventually capture. The United States has filed several extradition requests in several different states for Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to be extradited but, El Chapo's attorneys argue that they are going to appeal for his freedom.
Fair Game: 2010 biographical spy drama film directed by Doug Liman and starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. pic.twitter.com/ymQM49bJ7Y WikiTedium (@WikiTedium) October 17, 2015
Hollywood's history of working with the CIA
ArgoThis would not be the first time the CIA asked someone associated in the film industry to use their connections in order to solve an international crisis. In fact, the recent Ben Affleck movie Argo was based on a true story in which CIA operatives pretend to be filmmakers in order to fly to Iran during the hostage crisis in 1979. Tony Mendez led a team to recover six American diplomats from Tehran, pretending to be members of a production.
Zero Dark ThirtyBut, did you also know that the CIA also helps Hollywood write movie scripts? The Entertainment Liaison Officer was created to help filmmakers receive "factual" advice and props in order to create movies. One major motion picture that worked with the CIA was Zero Dark Thirty. The 2012 action-thriller, Zero Dark Thirty was supposed to be based on a true story. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty was called the story of historys greatest manhunt for the worlds most dangerous man. The movie dramatizes the 10 year manhunt for Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. The search eventually leads to the discovery of bin Ladens compound in Pakistan, and the military raid on it that resulted in his death on May 2, 2011. According to a 10,000 word investigative report by Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, the entire Bin Laden death story is all a lie. This weekend Hersh published a new investigative report on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the gist of which is that Bin Laden wasnt so much in hiding, as previously reported, but being held on house arrest by Pakistani security services when he was killed. It is important to point out that the CIA helped write the script for Zero Dark Thirty. When the movie was in pre-production, the CIA demanded changes to the movies script. In a memo obtained by Gawker, Zero Dark Thirty had several scenes changed and altered.
The much-discussed opening scene of Zero Dark Thirty features the main character Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, observing a detainee at a CIA black site as he is water-boarded and shoved into a tiny box during an interrogation. It appears that an early version had Maya participating in the torture. But during their conference calls, the CIA told Boal that this was not true to life. The memo reads: For this scene we emphasized that substantive debriefers [i.e. Maya] did not administer [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques] because in this scene he had a non-interrogator, substantive debriefer assisting in a dosing technique.There were several other scenes altered and changed. But, it demonstrates that we will probably never know what really happened and what we do know is probably fan-fiction.