The ‘Milk’ star has a reputation as a Hollywood bad boy, and, in 2010, he was charged with criminal battery after allegedly attacking a paparazzo. Since that incident Penn has tried to stay out of the spotlight, preferring to spend his time rebuilding earthquake-ravaged Haiti, instead of mingling with his peers at Hollywood parties and premieres.
In a rare candid interview with US breakfast show ‘Today’, which aired in America on Tuesday, he opened up about his anger management issues, confessing he still has much of room for improvement. “I am constantly embarrassed by my own personality. Maybe I have a strength in that as an actor,” Contactmusic quoted him as saying on the show.
The 51 year old admits he keeps his distance from most other celebrities because he’d rather get to know people outside his social circle. “I have a very tough time with people. It’s not that I’m totally antisocial, I just don’t want to socialise with the people I’ve already known,” he said. He addressed fiery remarks he made at the end of last week at the Cannes Film Festival in France, accusing the media and his peers of turning their backs on the problems in Haiti.
“Most of the people I’m angry at are international volunteers coming over here (to Haiti) to stamp themselves with the do-gooder label,” he added. At a press conference before the Haiti: Carnival in Cannes fundraiser to benefit the victims of the 2010 earthquake, he took aim at the media saying, “It’s not only celebrities who went for a day, it’s the whole f**king world. It’s all of you.
“The reason we have Haiti fatigue is because there was never a commitment in the first place,” he said. Penn created the J/P Haitian Relief Organization in the weeks after the earthquake to help rebuild schools and homes, and provide for the desperate locals left destitute after the disaster. His work continues and he has become a regular visitor to Haiti, taking TV news crews and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey with him to help raise interest in the cause.