(PNS reporting from MALIBU) Sean Penn will deliver the keynote address at the City of San Jose’s annual Cesar Chavez Day celebration March 31, friends of the actor say. The ceremony honors the late Mexican-American icon and civil rights leader on his birthday.
Penn told dinner companions here Tuesday night that he plans to open the speech at the San Jose Civic Center with some humorous anecdotes.
“I was friends with Cesar,” he reportedly confided, “and I will break the ice with some inside jokes we used to tell each other. I haven’t decided if I might lead with my ‘lettuce picker’ material, or tell about the time I called him a ‘son of a bitch’ and questioned who gave him his tomato picker’s permit. Fast times.”
The winner of two Academy Awards and star of Milk, Mystic River and Thin Red Line said his speech will honor the accomplishments of a man who was “America’s number one bean eater.”
When his friends informed him that Chavez died after a lifetime of many long and grueling hunger strikes, Penn quipped, “Then I better not taco ’bout it!”
Instead, he said, he would focus on Chavez’s success as the leader of Venezuela.