Sean Penn is returning to Ridgement High for a charity table read of the classic 1982 high school comedy that helped launch his career. But somehow, he won’t be playing his iconic teen slacker, Jeff Spicoli. Penn will, however, be joined by a star-studded cast for the Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read, including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Shia LaBeouf, Matthew McConaughey, and Morgan Freeman, for a live virtual event that will benefit emergency relief nonprofit CORE’s work in the fight against COVID-19.
Variety reports that the party is on, and the Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read will feature one of the most star-studded line-ups of celebrities who didn’t star in the 1982 coming-of-age classic. But they did get Penn, who at 60 years old, probably doesn’t want to be playing the perpetually stoned teen surfer character who launched him to stardom. But still, if they couldn’t get Spicoli to play Spicoli, then what’s the point?
The point is charity, of course, as well as some of that tabloid buzz of exes Pitt and Aniston doing a thing together despite ostensibly being on good terms for a while now. In addition to Pitt and Aniston, participants in the Fast Times at Ridgemont High charity read will include McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Kimmel, Dane Cook, Freeman, and Henry Golding, with more names to be announced over the next week. The actors’ characters will be announced on the night of the event.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High director Amy Heckerling and screenwriter Cameron Crowe will also be on hand to introduce the reading, which takes place August 21 on Facebook Live and TikTok. Proceeds from the table read will go to emergency relief nonprofit CORE and criminal justice reform group Reform Alliance. Penn is a co-founder of CORE, and released a statement on the table read, which is being organized by Cook and Ivan Dudynsky.
“On behalf of our dedicated team at CORE, I’m so appreciative of the support Dane has given and continues to give to our work. I’m always game for a giggle. So, to gather remotely for a night of laughs with so many talented folks while providing CORE with much-needed resources to continue our vital work, then consider us fully onboard to play!” When asked why he won’t be revisiting his original role, Penn said, “I’m very confident in the new guy.”
“Sean brought magic to us on day one, and he is still bringing that magic to the world. We are so excited to be a part of this 2020 take on Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” Crowe added. “Thank you to this cast, and to Sean, for always honoring the best things in life, love and creativity. It is, as a great man once said, totally awesome.”
Heckerling added, “I’m honored that so many talented, wonderful people are willing to get together to celebrate our movie, and to create their own special version of it. And I’m a huge fan of Sean. He has such a big heart and I fully support CORE and all of his causes.”
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