Sean Penn has opened up about his reputation for being difficult to work with — both on film sets and in his personal life.

On Wednesday, the Oscar-winning actor joined The Howard Stern Show for an interview, where he was pressed to speak on this reputation. 

Host Howard Stern referenced Penn's Best Actor speech at the 2009 Oscars, where he'd touched on the subject.

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Sean Penn movies came with "difficult" reputation 

"Why is it difficult to work with you? Why would people in Hollywood say that?" Stern asked.

Penn shared that it boils down to how filmmakers understand his approach to acting.

"There've been several times I've worked with directors who I felt might have found a different job description, and perhaps weren't the storytellers that their initial meetings with each of us actors might have indicated," he explained.

"Actors are kind of canaries in the coal mine emotionally, and you have to go to whatever place is necessary inside yourself. If you don't have somebody there who at least respects that — most of what I was referring to is that the arrogance goes further than charm," Penn added.

He continued, clarifying his good intentions. "I am aware that I can be a difficult person to like from afar, often. I sometimes think I have a great love affair with humanity but not too good with humans."

Sean Penn talks relationship with girlfriend Leila George

Stern then pressed the Mystic River star on whether or not this difficulty extended into his personal life. The two-time divorcee, who was previously married to Madonna and Robin Wright, replied: "Am I difficult? Yeah, I think so."

"I will say I'm a person who feels and expresses energetically, and that has misled people into thinking I think it's all about me," he revealed. 

"I think the interview you're talking about would be with a lady named Leila George. She knows me better than I do on this level. That doesn't mean that I agree with her perceptions but I certainly find them fascinating."

"She's the gal in my life," Penn said of the 27-year-old actress.

The 59-year-old Penn and George, 27, have been together since 2016.

George is an Australian American actress. The couple has been spotted in 2020 doing work for Australian Wildfire Relief and the COVID-19 pandemic with Penn's nonprofit Community Organization Relief Effort (CORE).

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Watch the clip of Penn's video interview with Howard Stern below.

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