As a commanding actress, fiery activist and dedicated mom, Susan Sarandon refuses to fake it in any of her roles. And now, the renowned Oscar® winner and self-proclaimed 'Ping-Pong propagandist' is ready to divulge her secrets for staying honest, wise and most important, fun. In a refreshingly honest interview with AARP The Magazine, the leading lady and recipient of the 2014 Movies for Grownups Lifetime Achievement Award, reveals what truly brings her joy and why her "quest for authenticity" has only just begun.
The following are excerpts from the February/March issue of the AARP The Magazine cover story featuring Susan Sarandon, available in homes today and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.
On moving on from her relationship with Tim Robbins after her performance in Exit The King:"You can't do a meditation on death and stay in a situation that's not authentic. It made me examine where I was in my union and in my life, and to have discussions about making changes."
On her rumored romance with SPiN partner Jonathan Bricklin:"Jonathan and I collaborate on different things. That means a lot of things." [When asked if that means a romance] "Yeah, I think so."
On her roots as a social activist: "I was actually very shy [growing up]. But I had a need for justice starting with playing with my dolls and making sure I rotated the best dresses so one doll didn't have all of them. I think everybody tries to find their voice and to shorten the distance between when the sound doesn't match the picture."
On her view of religion:"Original sin didn't make any sense to me. Limbo didn't make any sense. And, as I got older, a wrathful God didn't make any sense, or a God that would condemn someone to hell for their sexual orientation."
On finding her joy:"It's the simple things. With age, you gain maybe not wisdom, but at least a bigger picture."
On having no regrets: "It's better to have made decisions that turned out badly and learn from them than to feel as if you had no choice and are resentful of the turns that your life takes…My life has been filled with happy accidents. The thing that's served me well is being able to change onto a different track when it's presented itself."
On her love of Ping Pong: "Ping-Pong cuts across every demographic, age and body type. Girls can beat their fathers. And even if you're old, you can play it forever."
On letting her children go: "It's been hard for me to let go of thinking of dinner at 6 o'clock. I want to see them in places where they can pay the rent, and then I'll feel that's done."
On what she's still afraid of:"The only thing I'm really afraid of is death. I still haven't gotten to the point where I think that's cool."
Actress and daughter Eva Amurri Martino on her mother: "She made our Halloween costumes and was at our basketball and soccer games. And she exposed us to a lot of people and the idea of giving back."
Actress and friend Melissa McCarthy on Sarandon's zest for life:"I do not have the energy to keep up with her. I was in New York, and we made plans. Susan's like 'Dinner at 10:30! Then we're going to the club to play Ping-Pong, and then probably we'll go to another club afterwards.' I'm like…I can't even go to dinner with you."
For the complete interview, along with behind the scenes video, check out http://www.aarp.org/magazine/.