Susan Sarandon Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (95)  | Personal Quotes (82)  | Salary (3)

Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameSusan Abigail Tomalin
Nickname Sue
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Susan Sarandon was born Susan Abigail Tomalin in New York City, NY, to homemaker Lenora Marie (Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, an advertising executive. She is of Italian descent on her mother's side and English, Irish, Welsh, and German on her father's.

After the 1968 Democratic convention there was a casting call for a film with several roles for the kind of young people who had disrupted the convention. Two recent graduates of Catholic University in Washington DC, went to an audition in New York for Joe (1970), Chris Sarandon (who was passed over) and his wife Susan. Chris brought her along on the audition and she got her big break with a major role: Susan Compton, the daughter of ad executive Bill Compton (Dennis Patrick). In the movie Bill kills Susan's drug-dealer boyfriend, then befriends Joe (Peter Boyle)-- a bigot who works on an assembly line and collects guns.

Five years later, Sarandon made the film where fans of cult classics have come to know her as Janet, who gets entangled with transvestite Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). More than 15 years after beginning her career Sarandon at last actively campaigned for a great role, Annie in Bull Durham (1988), flying at her own expense from Rome to Los Angeles. "It was such a wonderful script ... and did away with a lot of myths and challenged the American definition of success", she said. "When I got there, I spent some time with Kevin Costner, kissed some ass at the studio and got back on a plane". Her romance with the Bull Durham (1988) supporting actor, Tim Robbins, had produced two sons by 1992 and put Sarandon in the position of leaving her domestic paradise only to accept roles that really challenged her. The result was four Academy Award nominations in the 1990s and best actress for Dead Man Walking (1995). Her first Academy Award nomination was for Louis Malle's Atlantic City (1980).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dale O'Connor

Spouse (1)

Chris Sarandon (16 September 1967 - 20 September 1979) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Her early roles were frequently as vulnerable, victimized young women, later roles are often as iron-willed, often sensuous women

Trivia (95)

Lived with Tim Robbins from 1988 to 2009.
Ranked #35 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Attended Catholic University of America 1964-1968, majoring in military strategy. Met and married Chris Sarandon there (by priest who was head of Department).
Former Ford model.
Has a daughter from relationship with Franco Amurri: Eva Amurri Martino (b. March 15, 1985).
Has two sons with Tim Robbins: Jack Henry Robbins (b. May 15, 1989) and Miles Robbins (b. May 4, 1992).
Chosen by People (USA) magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful in the world. [1996]
Landed her first Hollywood role when her then-husband, Chris Sarandon, took her along on one of his auditions.
As co-presenters of the 1993 Academy Awards, Susan and her former partner, Tim Robbins, seized a chance to bring public attention to the plight of a few hundred Haitians with AIDS who had been interned in Guantanamo Bay.
Is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
Supported Ralph Nader during his 2000 Presidential Election campaign.
Arrested for disorderly conduct during a protest in New York over the unarmed shooting of African immigrant Amadou Diallo by four policemen. [March 1999]
Her father was of English, Irish, Welsh, and German descent, and her mother's ancestry was Italian (including Sicilian).
Graduated from Edison High School in Edison, New Jersey where she was a cheerleader.
She keeps her Academy Award in the bathroom.
Sang in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975); recorded a duet with Eddie Vedder which played over the ending credits of Cradle Will Rock (1999).
Was involved in the effort to have Laura Schlessinger's television show taken off the air in 2000, because of her disagreement with Schlessinger's conservative views. The effort was successful in leading many sponsors to drop their support of the show, which was ultimately cancelled less than a year after its premiere.
For the past 10 years she has been involved with Heifer International, an organization that donates farm animals to needy families who need the animals for work.
Is one of two actresses who won an Oscar for playing a nun. The first was Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette (1943).
Is listed along with Geena Davis on the 24th place in AFI's Hero Top 50.
Caught pneumonia after they shot the pool scene in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
One of eight women, also among them Sophia Loren and author Isabel Allende, carrying the Olympic flag at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games' opening ceremony in Turin. [February 2006]
Her grandmother had her uncle when she was 14 years old, her mom at 16, then disappeared without a trace. Her mother grew up in the care of nuns in an institute, abandoned at two.
Daughter of Lenora Marie (Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin (1917-1999), an advertising executive, television producer, and nightclub singer.
Parents separated in 1982, after forty years of marriage.
Eldest of nine siblings. She has four brothers: Phillip Jr., Terry, Tim, O'Brian; and four sisters: Meredith, Bonnie, Amanda and Missy.
In 1916, her grandfather Giuseppe/Joseph Vincent Criscione immigrated to the United States from Ragusa, Sicily, where he was born in 1901. Today, Susan is an honorary citizen of Ragusa and the city gave her the "Ragusani nel Mondo" award. Susan's maternal grandmother, Anita Rigali (aka Evelyn Fiorentino; 1907-1984), was the daughter of emigrants from Coreglia, Province of Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.
Received the "World Lifetime Achievement Award" at the 2006 Women's World Award in New York.
Very good friends with fellow actress Julia Roberts.
Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2008 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her performance in the film Mr. Woodcock (2007). However, she failed to receive a nomination.
Has a dog named Penny, a Pomeranian Maltese. The dog appears in the movie, Bernard and Doris (2006), playing a pet of Doris, the character she portrayed.
In 1992, the National Society of Film Critics named her as their runner-up for best actress for her performance in Lorenzo's Oil (1992).
In 1991 and 1992, she was the New York Film Critics Circle's runner-up pick for their annual best actress of the year prize. In 1991, she was chosen the runner-up for her landmark performance as half of the now-iconic duo in director Ridley Scott's modern-day western, Thelma & Louise (1991). In 1992, she was the group's runner-up for her heartbreaking turn in director George Miller's fact-based drama, Lorenzo's Oil (1992).
Received a 1982 Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as a victimized woman who rallies and turns the tables on her would-be attacker in the hit Off-Broadway play "Extremities", by playwright William Mastrosimone.
Received a 1979 Drama Desk Award nomination for "Best Actress in a Play" for her off-Broadway debut, opposite Eileen Brennan, in playwright John Ford Noonan's two-character piece, "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking".
In 2005, she and the rest of the chief creative team behind the 11-part radio documentary, "Leonard Bernstein: An American Life", a chronicle of the legendary American musical giant's life and career, were recipients of the (George Foster) Peabody Award bestowed by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia at the 64th presentation of the honor. The Peabody is the premiere international prize given for electronic (i.e. television and radio) media.
Launched a table tennis bar called "Spin New York". [June 2009]
Inducted into the 2010 New Jersey Hall of Fame for her services and contributions to Arts and Entertainment.
Received the 2009 Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award.
Revealed in December 2009 that she and partner Tim Robbins had broken up during the summer of that year.
Along with Gerard Butler, Demi Moore, Ben Stiller and director Paul Haggis, she visited a camp for internally displaced persons managed by Sean Penn and his "Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization" in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. [April 2010]
In 2011, she bought a penthouse "bachelorette" pad atop townhouse on West 9th Street, Manhattan, just blocks from the West 15th Street duplex she had shared for many years with Tim Robbins.
Was dating ping pong aficionado Jonathan Bricklin from 2010-2015.
Friends with Don Johnson since Sweet Hearts Dance (1988).
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 5, 2002.
An ardent supporter of liberal or progressive causes, she - along with other stars such as Harry Belafonte - very publicly campaigned for Democrat Bill de Blasio as the next Mayor of New York City.
Was the 109th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Dead Man Walking (1995) at The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996) on March 25, 1996.
Is a grandmother, via daughter Eva Amurri Martino and son-in-law Kyle Martino, of granddaughter Marlowe (b. August 9, 2014) and grandsons Major (b. October 19, 2016) and Mateo (b. March 13, 2020).
Callie Khouri wrote the role of Louise Sawyer in Thelma & Louise (1991) with Sarandon as her first and only choice.
Supporter of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. [2016]
She won an Oscar for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), making her one of 17 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2015). The other sixteen actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Ben Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Jeremy Irons for playing Claus Von Bullow in Reversal of Fortune (1990), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001), Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), Sandra Bullock for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009), Melissa Leo for playing Alice Eklund-Ward in The Fighter (2010), Christian Bale for playing Dickie Eklund in The Fighter (2010), Meryl Streep for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011) and Eddie Redmayne for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014).
Physicians told her she had endometriosis and that she would need to be operated on if she wanted to have children, so she was astonished when she learned she was pregnant for the first time at 37. She told Chelsea Handler in 2014 that she hadn't used birth control for years and that the young man she conceived with (Franco Amurri) "won the lottery." Franco was still living in his parents' house at the time.
Cut hair, waitressed, worked on the switchboard and cleaned apartments for a living before she became an actress.
Of her more than 100 movies, she often cites Bull Durham (1988), White Palace (1990), The Client (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995) and Stepmom (1998) as her favorites.
She was set to play Alexandra in The Witches of Eastwick (1987) until Cher was recast in the role at the last minute. It was only after arriving on location in Massachusetts that Sarandon was told she would be playing Jane instead (and needed to learn how to play the cello), an experience she described as humiliating.
Lived with Louis Malle from 1977 to 1979.
Her hair was naturally blonde as a child.
Fans often confuse Susan with Sigourney Weaver and vice versa. Occasionally, the less famous Lesley Ann Warren also gets mistaken for her.
Caused a stir in 1984 when she defied Ronald Reagan's opposition to the Sandinista government by taking an eight-day trip to Nicaragua, delivering milk and baby food to needy mothers under the auspices of a New York-based women's group called Madre.
Said that her most grueling audition process was for the female lead in the Marlon Brando/Jack Nicholson vehicle The Missouri Breaks (1976), because she was repeatedly called back in for readings over a period of six weeks but ultimately lost out to 'a gal who didn't do much after that' (Kathleen Lloyd).
Mother-in-law of Kyle Martino.
The only actress to be directed by both Ridley Scott and his brother Tony Scott.
Marched in a pro-choice demonstration on the National Wall in Washington D.C. while eight months pregnant. [1989]
Arrested on charges of civil disobedience in New York City for protesting the tearing down of the Morosco Theater on Broadway. [1982]
While affiliated with Hanover Modeling School in Connecticut, reigned as Miss Auto Show 1969 under sponsorship of the Greater New Haven Car Dealers Association.
Almost signed on to star in Serial Mom (1994) but the deal fell through due to scheduling conflicts and salary dispute.
Is a self-confessed cannabis user and admitted on TV that she's been stoned at almost all award shows except the Oscars. Seemed noticeably high during a 1991 Letterman appearance as well, despite her quick-witted reaction time.
Endorsed Jill Stein as her vote of conscience in the 2016 presidential election of the United States; because of this, Hillary Clinton's supporters harassed Susan so much that she had to change her phone number.
Aunt to more than 40 nephews and nieces.
Says her sexual orientation is "up for grabs". [February 2017]
She was asked to pose for Playboy about 25 times and always said no.
Had been attached to several Bette Davis biopics that never came to fruition, since the '80s, before finally portraying the screen icon in Feud: Bette and Joan (2017).
Ex-de-facto-daughter-in-law of Gil Robbins and Mary Robbins.
In mid-2014, a burglar broke into Sarandon's Manhattan apartment while she was out of town and stole a laptop, camera and jewelry, and some papers.
Refuses to give interviews to the NY Post ever since they printed a story about an orgy taking place at her home in December 2001.
Was considered for the role of Francesca Johnson in The Bridges of Madison County (1995) that went to Meryl Streep.
She has twice used Freedom of Information laws to access her FBI file, and claims it reveals her phone conversations are routinely monitored by the US government.
Dated David Bowie and Sean Penn in the early 1980s.
An aspiring ballerina in early life, she turned down a scholarship to the Boston Conservatory of Dance.
Surname is pronounced "Sa-RAN-don", just like "abandon". Future Solitary Man (2009) co-star Michael Douglas said it wrong when he introduced the Best Actress nominees at the 1992 Academy Awards.
On June 29, 2018, Sarandon was arrested during an Anti-Trump Protest in Washington, D.C. along with 575 other women.
Returned to work five months after giving birth to her son Jack to begin filming White Palace (1990).
Was six months pregnant with her daughter Eva Amurri Martino when she completed filming on Compromising Positions (1985).
Was four months pregnant with her son Miles Robbins when she completed filming on Lorenzo's Oil (1992).
Was one month pregnant with her son Jack Henry Robbins when she completed filming on A Dry White Season (1989).
Returned to work sixteen months after giving birth to her daughter Eva Amurri Martino to begin filming The Witches of Eastwick (1987).
Has played the mother to three fellow Best Actress Oscar winners; to Reese Witherspoon in Twilight (1998), to Natalie Portman to Anywhere But Here (1999), and to Kate Winslet in Blackbird (2019). She also played the daughter to fellow winner Ellen Burstyn in The Calling (2014).
She has appeared in three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Atlantic City (1980) and Thelma & Louise (1991).
She has three tattoos: her children's initials on the back of her neck; a bird flying from a birdcage on her inner right forearm; and an image of what looks like a stylized letter "A" forming a wave on her left forearm.
Turned down the role of President Elizabeth Lanford (then played by Sela Ward) in Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) because the script was incomprehensible.
Met ex-boyfriend Franco Amurri in 1981 when he was an AD on her movie Tempest (1982). They didn't get to know each other in the biblical sense until Susan filmed Mussolini and I (1985) in Rome.
Was born at Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Her real debut, "The Next Oasis" (1969) was abandoned and remains unreleased to this day.
Mother passed away at age 97. [August 2020]

Personal Quotes (82)

I choose projects I can talk about for days because now you do publicity for as long as it took you to shoot the movie.
I feel I've always been on the outside and always on the edge of an abyss. The women I portray, and the woman I am, are ordinary but maybe find themselves in extra-ordinary circumstances, and what they do is at great cost.
Sexuality... is something that develops and becomes stronger and stronger the older you get... If you can continue to say yes to life and to maintain a certain generosity of spirit, you become more and more of who you are.
I think the only reason I remain an actor is that you can never quite get it right. So there is a challenge to it.
If I were 22 and trying to build a career, I don't know who'd be watching the kids as happily as I do. It takes so much to get me to break out of domestic paradise. There's hardly anything that interests me as much as my family.
[on Thelma & Louise (1991) after her nomination for best actress, 1992] I was surprised that the film struck such a primal nerve. I knew when we were filming that it would be different, unusual and hopefully entertaining. But shocking? I guess giving women the option of violence was hard for a lot of people to accept.
People will like you for the wrong reasons your entire life, even if you don't have parents who are celebrities. They will like you because you have a car or you have money or your breasts are big.
You're so lucky in Ireland, England and Spain. Everyone there already knows what it's like to have inexplicable terrorist violence.
The thing that's bad about breasts is that you have to choose between having a mind and having breasts. It'd be nice if you could have both. Anyway, I think my breasts have been highly overrated.
The largest party in the United States is the 50 percent who don't vote.
It's always so painful to watch yourself. That never changes. I still sit there and think, "Oh, that scene is missing? Wasn't I good? What happened there?"
I haven't yet had any plastic surgery, but I won't knock it. I think women have the right to do anything they want to their bodies that makes them feel good about themselves. It's hard to be in this business and be viewed on a screen that's huge. You can see every single line. But I think it's an aesthetic choice for the individual. I don't like it when surgeons take a perfectly interesting looking woman and she ends up looking like a female impersonator with these gigantic breasts. It's just so extreme and that worries me. I think everyone is looking the same.
My children were embarrassed at my Lincoln Center Tribute. I forgot they would show film clips and my children hadn't seen anything. Every time something a little racy would come on like The Hunger (1983), I'd look at my 13-year-old, who was shielding his eyes.
I'm certainly not an expert, but Tim and I just celebrated 17 years together, which in Hollywood years I think is 45. I think the key is just focusing on this one person and not keeping one eye on the door to see who might be better.
I never think about humiliating myself. I keep focusing on wanting to do a good job.
I think one of the reasons I haven't married Tim is that I hate that couples assumption - that once you're committed to someone you stop treating each other as individuals. I like getting up knowing I am choosing to be with that person.
I've always had my mouth open. Whether people listen to me or not, I don't know. But I've always made suggestions.
Every film is political in that it tells you some idea: What do women want? What does it mean to be a man? What is just? What is funny? What can you laugh at? What is not funny? So we notice the ones that challenge the status quo.
I have to decide what to focus on so it doesn't become a joke to see my name everywhere. But I resent it very strongly when people say, 'Oh, this year she's into Central America, but before that it was the homeless,' as if it's some kind of hobby I take up to fill my spare moments. These are all issues that have grown out of a personal fear. Fear definitely motivates my life. It's not a choice about being political. It's just a matter of feeling impotent and waiting for the next horrible thing to happen, or else deciding to make my voice known.
Every traumatic thing I've ever been through, personal, professional, whatever, has always, down the line, paid off somehow. I consider myself lucky.
The difference between theatre and film is kind of like the difference between making love and masturbation.
You have to be careful not to be upstaged by your breasts. I've gotten curvier as I've gotten older. Directors cast the men they want to be and the women they want to have.
I think I've survived because I've gone through a number of incarnations. Sometimes they need somebody sexy. Sometimes they need somebody smart. I've managed to be able to morph myself into parts.
People probably think of me as Debbie Downer. I have become kind of a joke in terms of activism for some people. But it is like worrying if your slip is showing when you're fleeing a burning building. You have to prioritize.
I thought the whole point of feminism is that you're not supposed to be defined by gender. I don't understand the reasoning behind that, because I wouldn't vote for Condoleezza Rice, and I hated Margaret Thatcher.
Despite the statistics, nothing is hopeless, nothing is futile. We can do so much to protect children with awareness, knowledge, and a lot of love.
[on Thelma & Louise (1991)] The thing that separates this from a revenge movie with two males, for instance, is that there is a moral price to be paid by me for losing it, as you learn later, because I had been raped. I go into some kind of little trance there and just overreact. But I think the whole rest of the movie from that point on operates under the knowledge for this character that she is going to have to pay a price, and that there is no joy, really, in that revenge. It was important for me, as the movie went on, to try and figure out why these things keep happening, not to make it about getting even. So we tried in all the rest of the scenes to ask questions, or to make it clear, that she's on some kind of search for an understanding of this moment. When I take off all my jewelry and my watch, I think I'm preparing to go into a zone where she feels she had to pay some kind of a price. That was very much in my mind from that moment on in the film.
[on mothering] Children can reinvent your world for you.
[about people criticizing Thelma & Louise (1991) for its violence and "anti-male" attitude] It shows what a straight, white male world movies traditionally occupy. This kind of scrutiny does not happen to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) or that Schwarzenegger thing [Total Recall (1990)] where he shoots a woman in the head and says, "Consider that a divorce".
[on the conception of her love scene in The Hunger (1983) and stereotypes men have about lesbianism] They felt that I should be really drunk so that was their way of taking away her choice in a sense, and I insisted that it not be that way, that certainly, you know, you wouldn't have to get drunk to bed Catherine Deneuve. I don't care what your sexual history to that point had been. It was much more interesting that she went voluntarily. [...] I don't think, for better or worse, that women are taken very seriously in this area. I think the feeling is when two women are together, then it's probably experimental or some kind of phase and if the right guy came along, that would all change. So it's actually something that straight men can watch and not be threatened by. And straight men are the ones that are propelling the industry forward, so I don't think it's taken that seriously.
[on relationships] I think the concept that there's one person who's gonna make you whole, this Gibran kind of thinking, is so detrimental. I don't think it's the other person's responsibility to make you whole at all. It's the other person's responsibility to make you laugh, to give you a dance now and then, to read the newspaper and tell you about things you don't have time to read about, to introduce you to music you don't know, to tell you when you're full of shit, to fight fair, to be good in bed, to say, "Come on, let's go have an adventure" when you've become a little bit of a stick in the mud. But it's not their job to make you whole. The test for me of a great romantic relationship is how productive you are during the relationship. You don't need somebody who's gonna keep you up till four in the morning and you don't even know why you're fighting. You don't need somebody who you're gonna go to a party and you're worried about that they're gonna get jealous, laid, drunk, stoned, or turn up missing. I like to go to a party and go my way and let somebody else go their way, and you meet up or you don't meet up and then you go home together and nobody feels bad about it. That's the perfect description of life, too- the party of life. I've been very lucky to find someone. We've been incredibly productive since we've been together.
[on having to do movie re-shoots] White Palace (1990). We shot the ending that was in the book, which is: she sits down, they look at each other, and you don't know what's gonna happen between them. But Pretty Woman (1990) had just come out, and they were thinking, "If we could only get him to marry her and they could have a big laugh." Jimmy [James Spader] and I, we fought and fought, trying to keep our characters intact, but we did two re-shoots on that. On Sweet Hearts Dance (1988), that was a different problem, in that Don Johnson kind of threw the script out. So what happened was we had to do a month of re-shoots at two different times to put back things that had been taken out...The real mistake with that movie was that I thought it was about one thing, and they decided it was about these two guys who were never gonna grow up, a male-bonding thing. And who cares about that?
[on being the eldest of nine children] I was the mother of everybody. And it took me a long time to understand that I didn't have to mother every guy I was with. When I stopped doing that, things got better. When I became a mother, all of these things I had been practicing with grown men made sense, because this was the right time to do it.
I was definitely one of those '60s girls with flowers in my hair and no bra and was influenced by certain drugs of that period, like cannabis or acid. But I always remind my kids that drugs are illegal. Some are a lot of fun, but some can kill you first time out. Mind-expanding drugs - like acid - are very different from the crack and heroin that's around these days. My kids asked me if I used crack, which I thought was funny. I mean, they didn't even have crack then, to show you how far back I go!
I believe in love and trust and commitment, but not in marriage. Marriage may do something for lawyers and mothers, but not for husbands and wives. I deal with reality, with the feelings I have at the moment. And then I go on from there.
[on Brad Pitt and Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise (1991)] The day they did their scenes in bed was the only day they watched the dailies right through, which was suspicious to me. [It] was a very long lunch.
I really respect filmmakers who manage to have lives, do the films the way they want to do them, have a sense of irony and humor about themselves and aren't crippled by the terrible things this business does to you, and how it breaks your heart when films are not released properly.
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. [Interview with George Stark, 2014]
[on the death of James Gandolfini] So sad to lose James Gandolfini. One of the sweetest, funniest, most generous actors I've ever worked with. Sending prayers to his family.
[in 1993 on Richard Gere] Richard has been in a lot of good films, but he's never been in a great one.
[explaining why she turned down the female lead in Tightrope (1984)] The link between violence and sex was very strong. I met with Clint Eastwood and I said, 'Aren't you worried, especially you, who everybody thinks is like Man Personified, when your character starts to do some of this stuff, that it's going to have a link between sex and violence and treating women badly?' And he said, 'I don't think that it's my job to worry about that, I'm an actor.'
Men very often can see sex as a way of solving a problem, where women want the problem solved beforehand.
I couldn't live in Hollywood; it's too much of a company town. I never look at the trade papers. I used to, but I was scandalized by reading about actors who made deals before they read the script. How could they possibly do that?
When things are going well, I like to have people to share it with. I've been alone in troubled times, and I don't mind that. Some things have to be endured alone. As Hemingway said, the human being is strong in all the broken places.
[on her split from Tim Robbins] People were coming up to me in the street and saying "I cried and cried when I heard." Well, I was sadder! I didn't think it would ever happen, either.
I am very romantic. For a women of my age and station, I have not been around very much at all. I've never developed that sportive kind of attitude toward sex. Thank God, as it turns out.
Nowadays, I think I look lived-in. When I was younger, I looked blank. Just blank, interchangeable with other people. Now I don't think there's anybody who looks like me.
I see myself as having a little flashlight that lets you get information that you're not getting, and then you make up your mind yourself how to act.
[talking about Prozac] I don't want to go on record as saying that nobody should be on it, but where are the artists going to come from? I think that every birthing is difficult and painful, and that sometimes you have every right to feel angry, and you have every right to feel miserable. And you have to get to the core of what that's about. Medication alone is not going to do it. So I think sometimes you have to just go there. And out of that will come a really interesting person.
I was fortunate that Bull Durham (1988) came along because I'm a working gal and I need to make a living, but I really had to grovel to get that part. The studio wasn't particularly interested in me, and the director felt he had to have people read. Now, in the business, one of the power games is whether or not you read, and I hadn't been reading for many years. But that was one of the few scripts I'd seen where I didn't know in the first few pages what was going to happen, and it was a woman I hadn't seen onscreen before. The only negative review I saw said that the character was a male fantasy figure. I thought she was a female fantasy figure. She was allowed to be everything and not be punished for it--very much like a guy. I felt so strongly about what it said on the subject of following your dream and finding some way to be a success within the framework of your own life. I thought it used one American myth to debunk another American myth about making money and what failure really is.
I'm such a victim of inertia. I need a structure that puts me in a microcosm of some kind.
I don't vote with my vagina!
You develop a reputation based on your personality, not your politics.
I'm definitely not hard to work with, unless I'm working with stupid people.
[in 1989, regarding her outspokenness] Once you've gone on record, it does eliminate certain things from your life. I don't think I'd ever be asked to work with Sylvester Stallone.
I don't think it matters that young actresses like Jennifer Lawrence are paid 70 times more than me. I always feel lucky to be earning a living so you can't say it is unfair that some actors get paid so much. It's a fabulous life. So I never bitch about my pay level.
[2011] I invented the word cougar. I started that about 30 years ago!
[about attracting negative press at the Oscars ceremony when she spoke out about the plight of HIV-positive Haitian refugees incarcerated by the US government at Guantanamo Bay] Those people were so desperate that they were on a hunger strike. Most of them were very ill and they were choosing to die rather than live under the conditions that Amnesty International had already said were completely inhuman. Nothing was being done. It was my tax money keeping them there, so if it meant going on the air at a widely-publicized event and for 26 seconds drawing attention to it, and getting them out the next day, I have no regrets, absolutely.
[to David Letterman in June 1988] You're just a pushover, aren't you! It's kinda cute.
If I go to a bar I get bored, so sometimes I smoke.
I think sometimes what happens is that all of this feeling out of control manifests itself in trying to control your body; whether it's an eating disorder or talking about getting your nose fixed, as if that's going to be the solution to all the pressure.
[January 2003 quote that landed her in hot water] Before our kids start coming home from Iraq in body bags and women and children start dying in Baghdad, I need to know, what did Iraq do to us?
When I tell people I'm a comedian they say, 'Oh, are you funny?' I say, 'No, it's not that kind of comedy.'
I'm tired of being labeled anti-American because I ask questions.
[on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival, May 2016] I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right. I have nothing good to say about him. I don't want to go there.
Alec Baldwin is fucking brilliant. He should run for office.
I demand a lot of myself and a lot of other people. I'm not easily satisfied. I'm fairly excessive. But it's interesting that we always see excessiveness and artists' angst, whatever, as sitting in a garret and drinking yourself to death. I don't believe in that at all. But I do have a real hunger for feeling things, and an ability to connect with people. It's everything to me; making connections with people in one form or another, and using them to explore and letting them use me.
The first modeling job I got was a selling folder for the Watergate building. Boy, that's a collector's item now.
I was denied security clearance to go to the White House, and I don't know why.
[on Hillary Clinton] I want someone who's authentic. And she gave that away. That was a disappointment.
[elaborating on her highly publicized remark calling Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi] Obviously that was being flip. It was passive-aggressive. For the record, he was a Nazi and continued to be, not just a Nazi youth but as a grown-up kid. I mean it's true, a lot of people at that time were doing what he did - but they didn't ask to be Pope! I hold him to a higher standard. There were people at that time who refused. YOUNG people at that time who refused. He stayed in there for...it wasn't just like 2 months training as a choir boy in the Nazi sing-along or something.
When I was in grade school I wanted to become a saint. Not a nun. A saint.
It's interesting that these guys who were in power don't find their voice til they're out of office. Al Gore has turned into a really interesting guy, but where was he before?
[on detractors] When they show up at a ski resort and you're nursing a baby and someone calls you a commie cµnt and you don't expect it in the middle of the afternoon, it's quite shocking.
I'm not interested in "I'm saying no but I really mean yes" kind of sex scenes.
[when Kevin Spacey came out of the closet amid molestation accusations] The unfortunate thing is that he somehow tried to mix the idea of pedophilia and homosexuality as if they had anything to do with each other, and that's a very dangerous route to go down. It's not true, and to even divert attention away from the story by coming out - which wasn't that big of news anyway, honestly - I just think that's a very dangerous place to go.
Since I'm basically lazy, I try for parts that frighten me or seem impossible. So to survive, I will have to learn something and overcome it.
Well, as an actor, I could take my clothes off and bare my breasts if it worked.
[on Bernie Sanders] I don't choose a candidate based on enjoyment, I focus on policy proposals and voting records. Whether or not you "enjoy" Bernie he's been consistent on important issues like income inequality, civil rights, campaign finance reform, non-interventionism, etc. for over 40 years.
There's an unwritten law: you don't rat on your other fellow actors, even if they are unprofessional.
I'm just a really rotten liar, so if someone has the misfortune of asking me a question, then I'm afraid they have to be ready to take the answer.
I don't think I've ever employed a nanny that didn't run on Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke.

Salary (3)

Lorenzo's Oil (1992) $3,500,000
The Client (1994) $5,000,000
Moonlight Mile (2002) $7,500,000

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