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Sean has taken on some unforgettable roles—from Fast Times at Ridgemont High's Spicoli to Mystic River's Jimmy Markum, his first Oscar-winning performance. Still, he says Harvey Milk was an especially hard undertaking because his real-life counterpart was one of a kind. "There's no movie actor ever born who could have his charisma, so you're just trying to be the second-best Harvey," Sean says. "But there was a lot of great material on him and infectious stuff that helps you out a lot."
In Sean's acceptance speech, he mentioned that the success of Milk couldn't have come at a better time. "I think because [change] is in the air, and that's all it takes for it to be real," he says. "When that happens and people stand up for their beliefs and activate it, brave new things can happen."