After the March release of his new book, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff”, Sean Penn sat down with Trevor Noah and Vogue Magazine to talk about the book, that some deemed hard to describe, and absurdist. Penn told Vogue, that he has no intention to get back into acting and instead has focused his energy on this work, which he feels is on a parallel plane to the #METOO movement. Penn told Trevor Noah, that the book looks to talk about “the dark nature of humans” and how they can be drawn to the tendencies of fascism. In the book, Bob Honey is an angry American with a dirty secret – he kills senior citizens with a mallet. He does so because he feels that they are hindering progress, and wants to do his part.
The book may at times be absurd, as Trevor Noah acknowledged, but there appear to be similarities described between the state of American affairs, and Bob’s life. For example, Bob witnesses the election of the President in 2016, and later even writes an angry letter to him, telling him that he is unfit for office. When asked, Penn tells Noah that the book describes how some Americans want to serve their country, yet lack the direction or cause to do so. In this case, Bob feels linked to helping his country and does so by murdering people for the name of progress.
Aside from discussing the novel, Penn also gives some reasoning for his character, who is somewhat similar in views to himself in real life, and at times it seems hard to tell them apart. Penn talks about his anger at Trump for his comments about Haiti, he also discusses his unusual relationship with Hugo Chavez. He uses this moment to discuss his displeasure with American enforcement of Democracy overseas, and includes his disdain for the drug wars. Penn feels that it was crucial to talk to EL Chapo to learn more of the conflict there. Penn seems to have created Bob to personify American issues, and it worked.