Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn, who once did jail time for punching out a photographer, says he'd someday like to see all paparazzi die of spontaneous combustion.

"That's my private little fantasy," he confesses to Detour. "I'd love to be at a movie premiere, or drive by a movie premiere, and see them all out there, and all of a sudden they blow up."

"The people who go around hunting people with cameras are not people to me; they're just toe jam molded into the form of a man who is given a machine so he can live in his mother's back room," he adds.

Penn, who has a tendency to say whatever's on his mind, is still trying to clarify statements he made over a year ago about former pal Nicolas Cage. At the time, Penn said Cage had given up as an actor by appearing in such big-budget action pics as Snake Eyes. The two haven't spoken with each other since.

"I didn't say anything damaging about him," insists Penn. "All I said was ? and it seems to me that he was as aware of this as the rest of the world was; it was just a journalistic notion I had, and I still have it ? that he opted to go in the direction of performance.

"I'm told by, you know, the magazines, that he doesn't want to talk to me," he says. "If he doesn't want to talk to me, there's nothing to talk about anyway. But I like him very much."