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Not all of Hollywood is bad. Or weird. Or sexual deviants.
There are some real good ones, and I had no idea until just now that Susan Sarandon was turning into one of the good ones. Not 100%, but she’s definitely not who she used to be.
In a new interview, Sarandon said point blank that if Hillary had won, things would be a disaster. We’d almost certainly be at war.
How true, Susan!
It’s funny, Donald Trump was painted as a monster, and yet so far has deftly navigated rough internatinoal waters with ease. He is greated with a hero’s welcome everywhere he goes. Even China is warming up to us, thanks to Trump. It seems like the only people who don’t like him are the globalist war mongers (Clinton, Obama, Merkel, and all their ilk). Trump is leading through strength.
Here is a portion of that interview, with some of the highlights in bold.
From The Guardian:
Susan Sarandon at 71 is bright-eyed and airy, and perhaps shyer than she can publicly seem. When I walk into the room – a private members’ club in downtown New York, where she sits with a small dog at her feet – she doesn’t say hello or make eye-contact, giving what I suspect is a false impression of rudeness. It may also be that she is uncertain of her reception. For a long time Sarandon was despised by the right, her protests against the Vietnam war and US aggression in Nicaragua and Iraq making her the kind of target that, for progressives, is an affirmation of sorts. Her latest unpopularity, by contrast, comes exclusively from the left and is much tougher on Sarandon. “I’m not attacked from the right at all,” she will tell me. Instead, she is accused of not checking her white privilege, of throwing away her vote on a third-party candidate (the independent Jill Stein) during the US presidential election, and of recklessly espousing a political cause that let Trump in through the backdoor. Liberals in the US, it seems, can summon more hatred for Sarandon right now than they can for Paul Ryan.Most infuriating of all, to her critics, is that she won’t admit her error. Sarandon’s very physiognomy suggests defiance; she looks indignant even at rest. She also looks a lot like Bette Davis, so much so that Davis herself, in her dotage, approached Sarandon to play her. That project never happened, but in the new eight-part Ryan Murphy series Feud: Bette and Joan, about the battle for Hollywood supremacy between Davis and Joan Crawford,Sarandon gets her chance. The two leads are terrific: Jessica Lange, by turns monstrous and pathetic as Crawford; Sarandon steelier, smarter, less obviously vulnerable. She sees a lot of similarities between herself and Davis. “We’re both east coast,” she says. “I didn’t consider myself a star; I was a character actor from the very beginning and not really sold as pretty, which is probably what’s allowed me to survive as long as I have. I have this broader phase.”Sarandon is working well beyond the age at which women in Hollywood’s golden era could expect to carry on – “besides playing witches and bitches,” she says. The interesting thing about Feud is that it tells an unavoidably feminist story about two women who would have abhorred that particular term. A few years ago, Sarandon herself said: “I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident bitches.”
“And then suddenly it became OK to say feminist,” she says now. “That’s been very recent. There was a period when that wasn’t really happening. So now there’s been an opportunity to include men as allies. And I have to say, I remember going to the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment] march where there were 100,000 women and we were going around talking to senators for this vote and I got on the elevator, and the women were like: ‘We’re going to show them what the fuck we want.’ And I kept saying: ‘Calm down, that’s not the way we’re going to get things done.’”
You thought it was counterproductive to be that angry? “It was counterproductive, clearly. But that image of the shrill woman became the definition of a feminist for a long time. And women had a right to be angry, and to feel empowered. But that was just one glimpse of a fairly emotional and strident definition, and there was a period when young women didn’t want that label.”
And now? “It’s come back, and it’s gotten warped, especially with the election, where if you’re a woman you have to support Hillary Clinton.”
Now, of course, no one in Sarandon’s industry would get caught dead having a flaky opinion on sexism in Hollywood. Still, the actor is cautious. One gets the feeling that the Harvey Weinstein business simply isn’t very interesting to Sarandon, that there are other causes – the Keystone pipeline, fracking, oil and gas money in politics – that she considers more urgent. She is no apologist for the Weinsteins of this world, but she can, at times, sound positively libertarian about where the responsibilities of the women involved lie.“There are a lot of people who did say no,” she says. “I think the big question here is that if Harvey Weinstein exposed himself to you when you were on a yacht in Cannes and you told everybody – this is Angie Everhart’s story – and everyone said: ‘Well, that’s just Harvey’ and it wasn’t a big deal – those are the people who are perpetuating it, too. Now, I’m sure there’s a lot of men who were much smoother at seducing than-” she bursts out laughing – “James Toback and Harvey Weinstein, who a lot of women felt very flattered to be sleeping with, even if they didn’t get the job. There’s just a culture, starting in the 60s and 70s, where there was a certain amount of liberation that made it possible for those things to happen without even seeing yourself as a victim.”
One of the questions currently being asked is whether what Sarandon describes – the inability of many women even to conceptualise themselves as victims – is a function of “liberation” or internalised misogynistic denial. For Sarandon’s part, nothing post-Weinstein has made her reassess her own past. “Certainly, I experienced both having people come on to me and being told that I wasn’t interesting enough to get a part, or sexual enough, once they found out I was married,” she says. She also admits she was lucky; that, unlike many of the women coming forward today, Sarandon’s resolve was never put to the test. “In my case, I just said no, in many clumsy, stupid ways, but the people didn’t push on. They didn’t show up in my room. They didn’t corner me, or batter me, or get on top of me. It was an invitation: ‘Yeah, why don’t you spend the night now that you’re here in the middle of nowhere on location?’ And I said: ‘No, I gotta get back to my room.’ But I didn’t feel super offended, because it wasn’t a thing that became super difficult.”
There were other hard things. “I remember another really famous actress saying to me: ‘Well, don’t have children because that’ll really change the parts that you’ll be available for. And you won’t work past 40 anyway.’ And a lot of that has changed. And a lot of women are assessing how they feel; were they victimised or did they feel that it was their own choice?”
There is no question, she believes, that there are more choices today and that this is slowly correcting the imbalance of power. “More and more women are able to greenlight their own projects. My last few films have had women directors – they’re not the big blockbusters, but I’m not sure those big blockbusters are very interesting to direct. But there is definitely more power in the hands of women than there was – the Reese Witherspoons, who are getting books, putting together projects, telling women’s stories. I think that’s where the difference is. The culture itself is ... it’s a tricky thing because you are selling yourself using sex, and your looks, for the most part. And I think that when you have these men in positions of power, they assume that [sex] goes along with it. And until you get women to have an economic power base – I mean, look at Brit Marling’s article [in the Atlantic], where she talks about being able to walk out of an uncomfortable situation with Harvey even though she hated herself for going in the first place, because she knew she could write and produce and direct. So when people see themselves as having their own power base, it becomes imaginable that you could turn somebody down and still survive.”It is often overlooked that in 2001, Sarandon supported Hillary Clinton’s run for the Senate. There are photos of them posing chummily together, grinning. Then Clinton voted for the war in Iraq and it all went downhill. During the last election, Sarandon supported Bernie Sanders, then wouldn’t support Clinton after she won the nomination, and now all the moderates hate her, to the extent, she says, that she had to change her phone number because people she identifies as Hillary trolls sent her threatening messages. “I got from Hillary people ‘I hope your crotch is grabbed’, ‘I hope you’re raped’. Misogynistic attacks. Recently, I said ‘I stand with Dreamers’ [children brought illegally to the US, whose path to legal citizenship – an Obama-era provision – Trump has threatened to revoke] and that started another wave.”
Wait, from the right?
“No, from the left! ‘How dare you! You who are responsible for this!’”
I ask if she’s aware that Katha Pollitt recently called her an idiot in the New York Review of Books and she looks momentarily taken aback. “I’m flattered,” she says. These people are furious with you, I say.
“Well, that’s why we’re going to lose again if we depend on the DNC [the Democratic National Committee]. Because the amount of denial ... I mean it’s very flattering to think that I, on my own, cost the election. That my little voice was the deciding factor.”
Did she really say that Hillary was more dangerous than Trump?
“Not exactly, but I don’t mind that quote,” she says. “I did think she was very, very dangerous. We would still be fracking, we would be at war [if she was president]. It wouldn’t be much smoother. Look what happened under Obama that we didn’t notice.”