Sean Penn and Josh Brolin appeared together at last night's New York Film Critic Circle awards dinner, where their Milk characters' rivalry reportedly gave way to a more collegial, tipsy thaw.
Penn and Brolin presented each other's prizes for Best Actor and Supporting Actor for Milk, with one attendee noting that the latter star "perhaps unnecessarily mentioned he'd been drinking." We're not sure if that admission came before or after his broadside against NYT theater critic Ben Brantley ("Honestly, I hate that motherfucker. ... And I don't think he's a good writer"), but its awareness nicely underscored his Penn introduction that followed:
"Quite an actor, Sean Penn, quite an actor. [Pause] Amazing. [Pause] And now I'm an asshole. Like Russell Crowe. Because I'm not as smart as Sean. [Pause] Quite an actor. [Pause] Amazing actor. I've loved you in Milk, I thought what you did with that role was incredible. We've known you as an actor who doesn't smile very much. And the fact that you smiled as much as you did in this film is amazing. Truly incredible. You are an amazing actor. You are going to get the Oscar. Because you smiled so much."
As expected, Penn's own ball-busting praise for Brolin — "I always wrote him off as a handsome square-jawed actor...There's no one who's as big a nightmare as him. ... No one has much endurance at night and as little during the day" — had the venue security guards' hands on their tasers. But! Crisis averted, at least until Sunday's open-bar Golden Globe Awards. We're pulling for you, Josh!
- At New York Film Critics Circle, Brolin being Brolin [Risky Biz Blog]