February 12, 2004 10:00 AM

Sean Penn received a ringing endorsement Wednesday when actor Jude Law said Penn deserved the Best Actor for Penn’s role in “Mystic River.”

It was a pretty solid recommendation, considering Law is also vying for the same award, for his part in Anthony Minghella’s Civil War epic, “Cold Mountain.”

“I’m probably shooting myself in the foot here,” Law told reporters at the Berlin Film Festival, after being asked who he thought would win. But Law added that he had always loved and admired Penn’s work, reports Reuters.

“I think it should be his year, personally,” the London-born actor said.

Both Law and Penn face some stiff competition in the Best Actor category this year. Also nominated are Bill Murray for his role in the indie hit “Lost in Translation,” Johnny Depp for his portrayal of sea villain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and Ben Kingsley’s performance in “House of Sand and Fog.”

But the 31-year-old Law is guaranteed to take the stage at least once during the 76th annual awards show, regardless of whether he wins the Best Actor category, AFP news service reports. He’s been added to the list of presenters for the Oscars, joining a lineup that already includes Colin Farrell, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell and Jack Black, among others.

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