January 02, 2002 01:05 PM

At 41, Sean Penn is still one of the bad boys of Hollywood, though, reports Talk magazine, these days home for the actor-director, his actress wife Robin Wright Penn, 35, and their two children, ages 8 and 10, is in northern California’s Marin County. (They moved there six years ago, when Wright and the kids were carjacked on the family’s Los Angeles driveway.) But the mellow Marin has done little to temper Penn, whose latest movie is the drama “I Am Sam,” costarring Michelle Pfeiffer. “I’m a drinker,” Penn told the interviewer, “so I bloat up and just get like a slug. But I kind of like being in a sober state of mind.” Though he still likes “to go out and tie one on every once in a while,” the former husband of Madonna, 43, admits that such behavior is “harder as a parent.” Penn saves his harshest words for talk show hosts and terrorists, though as noted by Talk (which likens the star’s talents and the staying power of his career to Marlon Brando’s), not necessarily in that order. Says Penn: “I think that people like the Howard Sterns, the Bill O’Reillys and, to a lesser degree, the bin Ladens of the world are making a horrible contribution . . . I’d like to trade (Fox News’s) O’Reilly for bin Laden, and then we can decide when he gets here (who’s worse).” So far, no word from either from Stern or O’Reilly, but expect some kind of comment soon. After all, neither is known for his silence.

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