New York Magazine:
"“I grew up across the street from Woody Allen,” Penn says. “He was to me like a god, a secular god.” As a Sleeper-loving kid, Penn wrote an absurdist play about a deranged ice-cream man, but these days, Penn most respects Allen for still making movies on his own terms, regardless of budget.
“If you want to do only what you want, be prepared to make no money,” says Penn, who supported the recent writers’ strike, with some reservations. “If you want to get paid, you’re going to have to do something that people want to see. And I’ve tried pretty hard to balance those two things without getting angry. It’s not like, ‘I’m an important artist so I deserve to be rich and do whatever I want to do.’”"