Sean Penn lights up - twice - during strange interview with Stephen Colbert

Ben Arnold

Sean Penn pretty much does as he likes, as evidenced with a bizarre, slightly disheveled interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The actor kicked things off by admitting he was still feeling the effects of a sedative he took for a flight a few hours earlier.

Then he proceeded to smoke two cigarettes in the studio.

“I’m doing well,” he told Colbert, as he sat down to chat. “You’ve inherited a little of the Ambien I had to take to get to sleep after a red-eye last night.”

“So in other words, you’re still a little bit on the Ambien train right now?” Colbert asked.

“A little bit,” Penn replied, clearly still a tad spaced out.

Twitter was soon ablaze with raised eyebrows over the appearance.

Colbert, who produced an ashtray quickly after Penn lit up, even pleaded with the actor to consider quitting.

“Please don’t smoke anymore,” Colbert said. “I don’t mind. My parents smoked when I was a child so it gives me happy memories to smell cigarette smoke but you know we want you to be around for a long time and those things are bad for you.”

“Job security for oncologists,” Penn joked.

Penn did make some valued remarks, however, praising the students behind the recent March For Our Lives in Washington D.C., protesting gun violence.

“Within days of that not only are they stating their case with incredible sobriety and articulate words but in such an inclusionary way. You feel like there are reasonable people who have been on the other side of this conversation who will listen to these kids,” he said.

But still, his general disheveled-ness was the takeaway.

Colbert’s following guest, Sara Gilbert from the newly rebooted series of Roseanne quipped as she hit the sofa: “Wow, I just want to say, Sean Penn makes me look energetic.”

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