Sean Penn passionately spoke about Milk's importance and message onstage and he continued his heartfelt thanks from the press room. He talked about Obama's need to examine his official stance on gay marriage, since the change will come, and says he hopes that the president's current stance is not a "felt one." He also spoke a bit about what it meant to take part in the project, and about his fellow nominee Mickey Rourke:
- On what the movie means to him: It means a lot to myself and everyone involved not only in the movie, but anybody who believes in equal rights for human beings. It’s really simple . . . There’s nothing more important than the themes that are in this movie. To be part of something like that is a privilege.
- On Mickey Rourke: I’ve known Mickey for over 25 years and I can't speak for [his consistency] since he's an excellent bridge burner at times, but we've had for the most part friendship. I’ve looked up to, advised, wanted to work with, admired him. He had me weeping through The Wrestler. He’s one of our most talented actors. One of the great poetic talents in acting.