Faces of a pri­vate but public split

CityPress - - News - BIÉNNE HUIS­MAN bi­enne.huis­man@city­press.co.za

Hol­ly­wood star Sean Penn was spot­ted chug­ging back one vodka tonic af­ter another at a five-star Cape Town ho­tel be­tween film shoots fea­tur­ing his for­mer fiancée, Char­l­ize Theron.

Penn was a reg­u­lar fix­ture on the Mount Nel­son Ho­tel’s pa­tio this week. Seated at a ta­ble over­look­ing the prop­erty’s lush gar­den, he stared into space, smok­ing cig­a­rette af­ter cig­a­rette and sip­ping sev­eral ton­ics in one sit­ting.

“He’ll som­mer fin­ish a whole bot­tle of vodka! He’s a very nice man, though. Very down to earth and unas­sum­ing,” said one wit­ness.

Penn may have been drown­ing his sor­rows from the break-up with Theron af­ter their pas­sion­ate 18-month re­la­tion­ship.

He had also be­gun the le­gal process to adopt Theron’s three-year-old son, Jack­son.

It has been widely re­ported that Theron broke up with him two months ago by “ghost­ing” – she just stopped tak­ing his calls and re­spond­ing to his mes­sages.

On set at the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre this week, Penn (54) looked drawn and di­shev­elled as the city’s in­fa­mous South Easter wreaked havoc with his hair.

Theron (39) also looked tense around her ex-lover, frown­ing fu­ri­ously when the cam­eras stopped rolling. She was pho­tographed in over­sized sun­glasses stand­ing around smok­ing.

But on Fri­day, a film in­sider told City Press that the work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the for­mer cou­ple had been “all pro­fes­sional, no juice” this week.

The source said film­ing was set to wrap up yesterday.

The for­mer cou­ple found them­selves work­ing to­gether this week do­ing reshoots for The Last Face – which Penn di­rected and Theron starred in – filmed in South Africa over three months last year.

A source who worked on the film told City Press in an ear­lier in­ter­view that last year Penn and Theron had sev­eral fights on set.

“Of the 63 shoot­ing days, I’d say there were about three ma­jor dis­agree­ments. The thing is, Sean is a per­fec­tion­ist and Char­l­ize is just as out­spo­ken. So you can imag­ine,” the source said.

This week, Penn also en­quired around the ho­tel for a preg­nant black woman be­cause he needed a new­born baby to ap­pear in The Last Face.

He re­port­edly of­fered will­ing can­di­dates R1 500 for a 20-minute shoot.

There are no laws in South Africa pre­vent­ing a new­born baby from be­ing filmed, while, ac­cord­ing to The Guardian, it’s illegal to use ba­bies younger than 15 days old in movies in the US.

The Last Face fea­tures Theron and Javier Bar­dem as doc­tors who fall in love while work­ing in refugee camps.

The movie is ex­pected to be re­leased close to Christ­mas this year.

LOVE LOST Char­l­ize Theron and Sean Penn dur­ing a film shoot in Cape Town

PHOTOS: DENVOR DE WEE AND LEANNE STANDER

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