Rising to prominence throughout the 1970s with frequent roles in television, American actor Susan Sarandon has climbed the ranks to claim Hollywood royalty as the star behind Dead Man Walking, Bull Durham and Thelma and Louise. Having worked with the likes of Ridley Scott, Robert Altman, Louis Malle and George Miller, Sarandon has enjoyed an eclectic career spanning both independent and mainstream cinema.
Perhaps her most culturally pertinent role came with Ridley Scott’s 1991 film Thelma and Louise, where she plays the latter, Louise, alongside co-star Geena Davis as Thelma, two fugitives escaping a provoked murder. Once controlled by their husbands and an overbearing society, best friends Thelma and Louise find newfound freedom in their escape on the road, toward an unknown life of total self-agency in Scott’s feminist classic.
Speaking to Good Housekeeping, Susan Sarandon recalled her surprise at the films longevity, noting: “At the time, I don’t think anybody really thought it was any kind of treatise on feminist power. It was something that I wanted to do because it looked like fun”. Continuing, the actor added, “I saw it a few years ago in Cannes, where they had a special screening and it really held up”.
A landmark of feminist cinema, Callie Khouri’s script helmed by Ridley Scott is an uncompromising look into the contemporary female experience, picking apart chauvinist male attitudes to aspire for a better tomorrow. Though it might be the actor’s most well-known role, in conversation with talk show host Larry King, Susan Sarandon reveals that Thelma and Louise was not her very favourite performance.
Stroking an adorable white dog in the short clip from the talk show host’s show, Larry King asks Sarandon what her favourite film role was. After a pause for thought, Sarandon responds, “I loved playing Sister Helen [Dead Man Walking] but it was such a responsibility because you’re playing a person that’s alive and it’s about an issue…you don’t want to make a mistake”. Though, after further thinking, the most fun role Sarandon recalls was “Bull Durham of course”.
Appearing alongside Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins, Bill Durham follows a baseball fan who has an affair with a minor-league baseball player each season, before coming across an up-and-coming pitcher who captures their heart. A well-received fan-favourite, Sarandon’s choice is certainly understandable, showing visible enjoyment in the role of Annie Savoy throughout the film.
Take a look at the trailer for the classic 1988 rom-com below.