Sean Penn on ‘The Gunman,’ His Unconventional Green Card Interview Advice

Sean Penn generated controversy at this year’s Oscars with a green card joke he made towards Mexican-born director Alejandro Iñárritu.

Now the star of the “The Gunman” has more to say on the topic.

When asked by ABC News’ Nick Watt, who is British, if Penn had any tips for him for his upcoming green card interview, Penn went well beyond the tips provided by the U.S. government, which include, “Always be on time,” and, “Dress formally and conservatively.

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“My tip is that there is a very self-righteous group of people who hurt their own cause for their own benefit by seizing the opportunity to criticize things that they haven't considered the meaning of,” Penn replied, alluding to the people who saw the joke as distasteful.

When Penn presented the Best Picture award to "Birdman," Penn said about Iñárritu, "Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?."

“And so," Penn continued with his tips to Watt, "what you should do is you should say whatever is on your mind; ask whatever is on your mind, and always consider the possibility that everyone else is wrong."

The actor, 54, is back on the big screen this Friday in the movie “The Gunman,” an action thriller that has led some to wonder if Penn is reinventing himself as an action hero. The film has drawn comparisons between Penn and Liam Neeson, the star of “Taken,” an action film with the same director as "The Gunman."

“I’ve never felt reinvented and I don’t see it happening now,” Penn said.

“Is Sean Penn trying to be the new Liam Neeson? I thought no,” Penn said of his 62-year-old fellow actor. “A 6-foot-4, melodically masculine voice who is a deeply decent man putting his life on the line for those he loves versus a 5-foot-9, sort of awkward voiced guy who is a conflicted man really fighting for himself.”

“It’s a different story,” Penn said.

One could say that Penn has reinvented himself off the big screen. Penn moved back to Los Angeles after his divorce from “House of Cards” star Robin Wright and is now dating Oscar winner Charlize Theron.

“My ex-wife had gone back to live in Los Angeles and I was single-parenting my son for most of that first year following that,” said Penn, who has a daughter, Dylan, 23, and son, Hopper Jack, 21, with Wright. “Within that time, I felt that he and his mother should each other more so it was really that that brought me back.”

As for his future with Theron, 39, who has a young son of her own, Penn played coy.

“I have no idea,” he said when asked if he would get married again.

“Who,” he said with a smile when asked specifically about Theron.

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