Sean Penn recalls 'terrible' audition for 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

June 18 (UPI) -- Sean Penn is looking back on his "terrible" audition for Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

The 59-year-old actor said on Wednesday's episode of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon that he used to resent auditioning for roles.


Penn played Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which opened in theaters in 1982. He confirmed it is "mostly true" that he went into his audition and told the casting directors to hire him.

"Long before I had a penny in my pocket, I had a kind of feeling of entitlement as an actor," Penn explained. "Not because I thought I was so good, but because I thought the rest were not so good. That gave me an awful lot of confidence."

"I read this part and I just said, 'I know this thing,'" he said.

Penn said he had the feeling of entitlement during every audition.

"This was true of all auditions," the actor said. "I resented every audition, hence I was terrible at it and self-conscious."

"I just wanted them to just give it to me, trust me," he added of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. "But I auditioned, and terribly and flat. I knew I wasn't willing to hit the kind of music of this character that I thought it was and had familiarity with too."


Penn and the Fast Times at Ridgemont High cast will reunite this month for a virtual table read for charity. Actor and comedian Dane Cook is organizing the online event.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is directed by Amy Heckerling and co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Brian Backer, Robert Romanus and Ray Walston. The film is based on Cameron Crowe's book of the same name.

Penn and his daughter, Dylan Penn, will co-star in the upcoming film Flag Day, which Penn is also directing.

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