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Unapologetic Facts About Susan Sarandon, The Ruby-Haired Rebel

Andrea Papillon

With an impressive resume of over 160 acting credits, Susan Sarandon is a staple in Hollywood. But she’s not just an actress. When she’s not performing, Sarandon stays busy with her strident left-wing politics, dramatic romances, and of course, her bad girl side. From attending rallies to making her enjoyment of cannabis very common knowledge, no one defines “unapologetic” quite like Susan Sarandon.


Susan Sarandon Facts

1. A Bad Joe

At the end of the 1960s, Susan Sarandon and her then-husband, Chris Sarandon (Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride) were recent university grads and newlyweds. They both auditioned in New York for a very dark, dramatic film, called Joe. Her husband got snubbed, but Sarandon got to play a junkie whose father offs her dealer/boyfriend.

2. She’ll Get You Back

While filming the famous dinner scene in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brad (Barry Bostwick) accidentally pounded on Janet’s (Sarandon’s) hand—and her priceless, pained reaction was genuine. During the scene, it sure seems like Janet got payback. You can see Sarandon step Brad’s foot with her high heel—and Bostwick’s kvetching looked painfully real!

3. Meet Her At Midnight

Is there another movie that still offers midnight showings in theatres worldwide, forty years after its first release? Sarandon will forever go down in cult classic moviedom as the naive heroine Janet in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

4. On The Campaign Trail

Sarandon went after the role of Annie Savoy in Bull Durham with a passion. She bought roundtrip tickets and flew across the world just to try out for the part. When she arrived at her audition, Sarandon managed to eventually meet with Kevin Costner and, as she put it, “kissed some ass at the studio” to successfully land the coveted role.

5. She Fell for LaLoosh

While filming Bull Durham, Sarandon fell in love with her co-star, Tim Robbins (he played Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh).

6. The Lady Doth Protest Too Much

Sarandon will never stop protesting! She’s participated in numerous protest rallies, marches, and sit-ins. Over the years, she has addressed political, and civil issues as wide-ranging as racial violence, gender transitioning, migrant rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Occupy Wall Street, and more. She’s even been cuffed multiple times for disorderly conduct during protests.

7. There’s A Bathroom Fixture

Like a little swanky sparkle in your loo? Well, nothing beats Sarandon’s bathroom style. She keeps her Oscar in there!

8. Gone Grandma

Sarandon’s family tree has some twisted branches. Her maternal grandmother had a son at 14 years old, and she gave birth to Sarandon’s mother when she was 16 years old. Sarandon’s grandmother abandoned her children two years later, and Sarandon’s mother grew up in an orphan institution, run by nuns.

9. She’s a Nine

Sarandon is the oldest of nine kids. She has four brothers and four sisters.

10. Her Lucky Penny

Sarandon adores her Pomeranian Maltese dog, Penny. The dog has been typecast in one of Sarandon’s movies (playing the pet of Sarandon’s character), and Penny is a politically active pooch on Twitter!

11. Got Him By The Balls

Sarandon has a quirky side hustle. She invested in a successful chain of table tennis bars, starting with the opening of Spin New York in June 2009. She also dated the guy who ran Spin New York, Jonathan Bricklin, for five years.

12. Match Terminated

The Sarandon-Bricklin match got tongues wagging for a couple of reasons. They apparently met when Sarandon invested in hipster ping pong bar, Spin New York, in 2009. But the rumor mill really took off when everyone found out that Bricklin is 30 years younger than Sarandon. Apparently they broke up when Bricklin got involved in a reality show and Sarandon got tired of cameras invading her personal life.

13. Geez, Louise

Sarandon is far more than just “damnit, Janet!” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Screenwriter Callie Khouri wrote the part of Louise Sawyer, in Thelma & Louise, specifically for her.

14. Tin Roof Rusted

Sarandon suffered from a severe form of endometriosis, with doctors telling her that the condition would either limit her ability to get pregnant—or, as a worst case scenario, make it impossible for her to have any children at all. After hearing all this, Sarandon was justifiably aghast when she did conceive, for the first time, at 37 years old.

15. Her Baby Daddy Was A Momma’s Boy

In 2014, Sarandon joked to late night TV chat host Chelsea Handler that Franco Amurri, the father of her first child, was still living with his parents when he got Sarandon pregnant.

16. Dream Jobs

Sarandon ate plenty of humble pie before she made it big as an actress. She cut hair, waitressed, worked as a switchboard operator, and hustled as a cleaning lady.

17. Wrong Witch

Sarandon was set to play Alexandra in The Witches of Eastwick, but in an abrupt casting change, Cher was recast in the role. After this switch-up, Sarandon heard she’d have to play Jane instead, which also meant that she’d have to learn the cello—immediately. Looking back, she called the entire experience humiliating.

18. And The Cannabis Goes To

Sarandon confessed that she’s a big fan of a certain green herb. Apparently, she’s been stoned at almost all award shows, except the Oscars. No one wants to release their inner-Jeff Spicoli to the members of the Academy!

19. Self-Medicated

In 2014, the actress declared that marijuana is her favorite medication.

20. She Ain’t Playing

Playboy magazine asked Sarandon to pose for them—about 25 times—and she declined every time.

21. Rocking The Body Art

Sarandon’s tattoos include her children’s initials, on the back of her neck. She’s also inked a bird escaping a birdcage on her inner right forearm, and you can find a stylized version of the letter “A” in the shape of a wave on her left forearm.

22. Keep On Tatting

After breaking up with Tim Robbins, Sarandon got the letters “A”, “N”, and “D” tattooed around her wrist. She explained that the letters stand for “a new dawn,” or “a new day.”

23. This Day Won’t End

Sarandon has spoken on the bane of most actors’ existences: The dreaded press junkets. She’s said (joking or not) that she only chooses roles she can “talk about for days” because in her mind, it feels as if the publicity drags on for as long as it took to shoot the movie in the first place!

24. Like A Fine Wine

Sarandon has been quoted as saying that sexuality “develops and becomes stronger and stronger” with age. She continues to say, “yes to life,” allowing it to make her more and more of who she is. We can all drink to that.

25. Orientation On Demand

Sarandon says that her sexual orientation is fluid or, in her words, “up for grabs.” Think Netflix and chill, for the libido.

26. Her Short Game

When asked to describe her job in one sentence, Sarandon was succinct. She simply said, “I play.”

27. She Spares Some Change

This Oscar-winning actress knows how to give back. Sarandon has said that she gives money to panhandlers.

28. She Goes Hard

Move over, hot sauce. When Sarandon cooks, she says she goes heavy on garlic.

29. The Only Saint In Tinseltown

Sarandon was the second actress in Oscar history to take home the precious golden statue for playing a nun. However, her childhood dream wasn’t to be a nun. She went even further. She fantasized about becoming a saint.

Susan Sarandon FactsDead Man Walking (1995), PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

30. Permission Denied

Sarandon has confessed that she was denied a security clearance to get into the White House. Facetiously or not, she says she has no idea why.

31. Love Is Love

Sarandon revealed an affair she had with a British actor, Philip Sayer, who passed away in 1989. Sarandon called their relationship “very successful and very loving and wonderful.” To her, it didn’t make one bit of difference that Sayer identified as gay. Hmm.

32. Who Are You?

Following her breakup with Tim Robbins, Sarandon begin going out more and enjoying her newfound freedom as a single lady. She says her kids were quite concerned, expressing that they weren’t sure who she was anymore. Sarandon put them at ease, replying that she’s the person she was before they came along!

33. A Prowling Big Cat

Sarandon credits herself with popularizing the term “cougar” to describe an older woman who pursued younger men. She says she started comparing herself to a “prowling cat” when she hooked up with long-time love Tim Robbins in the 80s!

34. A Political Blame Game

Sarandon is an outspoken supporter of democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, with her political actions occasionally landing her in hot water, especially on social media. Some democrats even blamed the actress for the failure of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid for the presidency. However, unbiased moderators, bloggers, and analysts agree that this is both unfounded and untrue.

35. No Chill For The Hill

For someone who’s been attacked by opposing members of the democratic party, Sarandon hasn’t backed down from expressing her viewpoints in a similar knockout fashion. She famously told a BBC interviewer that she believed Hillary Clinton was “more dangerous than Trump.”

36. That’s Some Thank You

Sarandon married for the first—and only—time, when she was just 20 years old. Chris Sarandon was her college sweetheart and the first man she slept with. Susan says she married him to say “thank you” and that their union was basically a “practical decision.” The “you’re welcome” part was a divorce, which came 12 years after they exchanged rings. 

37. A Dear John Letter

After Sarandon’s unplanned pregnancy in her late 30s, the director John Cassavetes told her that being a mother would affect her sex appeal, making her less “sensual.” Three years later, the actress met Tim Robbins, embarking on a passionate, consuming relationship that produced two sons, and lasted over two decades. Dear John: It’s not her, it’s you.

38. Lady Of The Ring

Sarandon owns a thumb ring with a French inscription, “One must live, not just exist”.

39. Hostage Crisis

Sarandon dated the French film director Louis Malle in the late 1970s. She described their relationship as turbulent, saying  that she felt forced to “permanently surrender” to Malle. She even likened the romance to a “hostage situation.”

40. Family First

After a sad split in 2009, Sarandon has occasionally been seen publicly with her ex, Tim Robbins, on friendly lunch dates with family members—and of course, with her adorable little dog in tow!

41. Tears Of Sympathy

After her split from Tim Robbins, Sarandon said that strangers often approached her in the street, telling her they “cried and cried” when they heard the news.

42. A Marriage Don’t

Sarandon believes in trust, love and commitment, but she’s said that marriage is something for “lawyers and mothers,” not “husbands and wives.”

43. Top Three

Sarandon has more than 100 movies to her credit. Three of her favorites are Bull Durham, Dead Man Walking, and Stepmom.

44. Wicked Rumors

Sarandon finally addressed decades of rumors about a vicious feud she apparently had with Julia Roberts during the filming of Stepmom. The truth couldn’t be farther from it—not only did Roberts and Sarandon co-produce the film, they were friends beforehand, and were looking for the right project to work on together.

Sarandon further revealed, she’d tracked down the PR person who created the rumor, thinking it would drum up bankable press. That PR person is the real ‘wicked stepmother’ here!

45. Built In Babysitting

Sarandon’s daughter Eva has not only hung around on movie sets since she was a baby, Eva landed bit parts in some of her mother’s films, like Stepmom. In several other films, including Dead Man Walking, Eva plays the younger version of her mom’s character.

46. A Wild Child

Sarandon has described herself as “definitely” a braless, rebellious flower child in the 60s, and she admits to experimenting with “certain drugs” of the period, like acid. She said she laughed when her kids asked her if she’d ever done crack. The actress told them she was too old for that, and that they didn’t even have crack way back then!

47. Hardcore Math

Sarandon has offered some brilliant insight on male-female dynamics. She thinks men see intimacy as a way of solving problems, while women want the problems solved before heading to bed.

48. Going For A Family Walk

Dead Man Walking was a stark, somber film, but at least it was a family affair, behind the scenes. Tim Robbins (Sarandon’s former partner of more than two decades) directed the movie and Sarandon took the lead role of Sister Helen Prejean. Robbins also cast Sarandon’s daughter Eva, his father Gil, his mother Mary, his sister Adele, and his sons with Sarandon, Jack Henry and Miles, in either speaking roles, or bit parts. Robbins’s brother David composed the movie’s soundtrack.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


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