Sean Penn Gifts Oscar to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Video)

“When you win, bring it back to Malibu,” the actor told Zelenskyy

Sean Penn gifted his Oscar to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday in a symbolic gesture while visiting Kyiv.

“It’s just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here then I’ll feel better and strong enough for the fights,” Penn told Zelenskyy during actor’s visit to the capitol in a video posted to the president’s Telegram channel. “When you win, bring it back to Malibu, because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”

The “Gaslit” actor, who has been outspoken in his political activism, traveled to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion to capture the crisis for a Vice documentary and previously met with Zelenskyy in the early hours of the invasion. News Nation’s Chris Cuomo had also joined the actor in Ukraine in June as Penn worked on the film that “show[ed] the reality and help[ed] the hurting with relief org CORE.”

In return, Zelenskyy honored Penn with Ukraine’s Order of Merit, saying “It’s not from me, it’s from Ukraine.”

“There are three places in the world that all the pride of my life will be,” Penn said. “The place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born and this.”

In April, the actor-director shared that he and his crew were forced to find an alternative route out of Ukraine as they escaped the war zone in Kyiv amid closing troops.

“What’s normally a seven-hour drive [from] city to city was, for us, a 25-hour drive, because…the Russians were engaged on the main road,” the Oscar winner recounted to Fox News in a discussion with anchor Bret Baier and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. “So we knew we had to go around that. And then the bridge we were going to go over got blown out. So, then we had to go around.”

In September, Russia banned the actor from entering the country, joining a list of “high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures,” including Ben Stiller, a UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador who visited Ukraine in June, along with Senators Rick Scott, Mark Kelley, Pat Toomey and Kevin Kramer.

While Penn gave the honor to Zelenskyy, the Academy prohibits award winners from selling or otherwise disposing of the Oscar statuette.