L.A. Premiere of Sean Penn's 'Gunman' Packed With Action

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The film's director opens up about his leading man's work ethic and the most challenging scenes.

Camaraderie among cast and crewmembers was evident Thursday night at the Los Angeles premiere of The Gunman, starring Sean Penn, at L.A. Live's Regal Cinema.

The film, which opens March 20, features Penn, Idris Elba and Javier Bardem and is directed by Taken's Pierre Morel.
"[Sean] just gives you the best every single time, and he doesn't compromise with anybody," said Morel.
Peter Franzen, who appears in the film, also spoke highly of his co-star. "It was easy with [Penn]," he said. "I respect him even more now."
In the film, Penn plays Jim Terrier, a former Special Forces soldier suffering from PTSD who goes on the run across Europe. While fighting for his life, he tries to rekindle a romance with his ex-girlfriend (played by Jasmine Trinca). The film is based on the 1981 novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette.
The Gunman is an action-packed film, which drove the cast to their physical and mental limits.
Said Morel: "It gets to a point where your muscles ache [but Penn] kept going, and he kept saying, 'No, I can make it better.' It was fantastic."
There were scenes that were especially challenging.
"The final scene actually was a big showdown; it was physically demanding," Morel added. "There are intense scenes between Sean and Javier, for instance, that took days to shoot, just to build up the craziness of the characters."
Noted Franzen: "The close contact, gruesome fights were shot for many days — especially one of the scenes that took a week to film."
Morel, who's known for directing franchises such as Taken and Transporter, is unsure whether a sequel will be in the works but is hoping to continue his trend of directing franchises.
"It's a recipe for a big franchise," he said. "Of course I'd be interested. It was a great experience."