In the indie flick, Penn stars as Cheyenne, an aging glam rock star. After the death of his estranged father, an Auschwitz survivor, Cheyenne attempts to locate the Nazi guard who tormented his dad.
How did Penn land the eccentric part?
After seeing Paolo Sorrentino’s film Il Divo at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Penn told the director that he wanted to work with him. So with the actor in mind, Sorrentino wrote the screenplay for This Must Be the Place with Umberto Contarello. The film premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Cheyenne’s look was indeed inspired by The Cure’s Robert Smith. In the film’s press notes, Sorrentino said that he was fascinated by the fact that decades later, Smith — even off the stage — still wore the same attire (and signature red lipstick) as in the past.
“Here was a fifty-year-old who still completely identified with a look which, by definition, is that of an adolescent,” he said. “But there was nothing pathetic about it. There was just this one thing that, in the movies and in life, creates an incredible feeling of wonder: the extraordinary, a unique and thrilling exception.”
This Must Be the Place will arrive in theaters on Nov. 2.