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Even though he died when he was just 24 years old, Jon says Chris's story should still inspire people to reevaluate their lives. "He almost pulled it off. I mean, he came so close to surviving this, and we'd never know about him. He'd have had a great adventure and gone about his life."

Jon doesn't mean that everyone should go off and live in the wilderness. "We can't live like him," he says. "But this message [is] about just doing something different. Get outside that comfort zone. Test yourself. Just don't be tempted to take the easiest path. Life is better when you step off that path, however far you step. Happiness is only real when shared."

Sean says he wanted to make this movie because of the things Chris believed. "I wouldn't have made this movie, I wouldn't have felt what I felt about this story if I didn't feel that we had become increasingly comfort addicted," he says. "[Chris] created an entire life in that short time, and I think the big challenge is to feel our lives while we have them."

Read an excerpt from Into the Wild .
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FROM: Oscar® Winner Sean Penn: His First Trip to The Oprah Show
Published on September 20, 2007

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