Identity of Sata Masuzawa, Sean Penn’s best friend, revealed
The first person Sean Penn thanked on Sunday night during his acceptance speech for winning an Oscar for Best Actor was his “best friend, Sato Masuzawa.” My ears perked up at hearing the distinctly Japanese name.
“Sean Penn’s best friend is an Asian guy?” I thought to myself. I imagined Sato might be a surfing buddy that Penn grew up with in Los Angeles, or perhaps an old friend from Santa Monica High School.
Turns out, Sato Masuzawa is a woman and Penn’s long-time assistant. According to IMDb, Sato was the set production assistant on Indian Runner, the movie written and directed by Penn. She is credited with being Penn’s assistant beginning with the 1998 movie, Hurlyburly.
Much has been made of the fact that Penn thanked Sato and a host of others during his Oscars acceptance speech, but neglected to thank his wife, Robin Wright Penn.
That might be much ado about nothing.
Talking with Access Hollywood later that evening, Penn and his wife looked very much in love and happy with eachother. The Penns explained to Nancy O’Dell that they had discussed beforehand that he would not mention his wife in his speech if he won.
Asked if he simply forgot to thank his wife, Penn says, “No, no, no…I was just trying to keep it to the little group that did the professional business on the deal.” (Watch the video here.)
Penn didn’t thank his son or daughter, either. It’s just not his style.
Apparently, Penn’s first wife, Madonna, understands. She called his speech “amazing.”