HOLLYWOOD – Sean Penn shocked reporters today when he admitted that he might never act again after what he called ‘a career best performance’ in 2013’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

‘I’ve worked with some of the best in the industry,’ Penn said.

Clint Eastwood, Terrence Malick, hell I was even married to Madonna for a time back there. But even so there comes a time when one thinks, now I’ve reached my zenith. I can’t go any farther and as an actor, for me, that happened under the tutelage of Mr. Ben Stiller. I mean, he made Tim Robbins look like Gus Van Sant.

What does that mean?

I don’t know.

And yet the film was not a particularly big critical hit.

No. The critics were a bit mixed, but that happens with the greatest work. All you need to do is look back and read some of the criticism Shanghai Surprise got. And now that film is number 6 in the AFI’s top 100 list.

Is it?

No. But still… It’s in there somewhere. Don’t worry. I’m still going to direct. I just don’t think I’ll ever come close to touching that kind of human truth again.

Mr. Penn is currently prepping his next directorial effort The Last Space which will star Charlize Theron and Adèle Exarchopoulos, last seen in Blue is the Warmest Color.