Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon

New York in the Seventies. A city where anything was possible, a hive of creativity that left no one out in the cold. It was here that a young, carefree Susan Sarandon was given her first part in Joe. Even then, her eyes sparkled with the light of many lives, while those eyebrows permanently raised in surprise have donned the skin of no less than 114 characters in 81 feature films, 18 television series, seven short films and eight telefilms, tackling every genre imaginable and continuing to move us with her powerful presence - a feat she can achieve with her voice alone, as the animated films she has done go to prove -.

Definitely not your conventional diva, Susan Sarandon has her own unique brand of sensuality and beauty and, above all, integrity, which is what makes her the authentic movie icon she is today. Always true to herself, she has translated her essence into anthological and memorable big screen moments, like the thin fingers of an impotent Sister Helen on the glass separating her from condemned man Matthew Poncelet. Unforgettable scenes like this, teetering on the limits of human dignity, can only be created by an actress whose spirt inhabits her entire body, transporting us to a sublime beauty beyond the images themselves, because they come from deep within.

Where does that magnetism come from? What lies behind that calm, collected exterior? Full-blown intensity, a talent for acting that continues to crescendo. Whether it’s a lead or a supporting role, Sarandon forms the backbone of all the films she has appeared in. Films like Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, Lovely Bones Enchanted, Speed Racer, Elizabethtown, Shall We Dance?, The Banger Sisters, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mr. Woodcock, In the Valley of Elah, Alfie, Moonlight Mile, Igby Goes Down, Romance & Cigarettes, Twilight, Step Mom, The Hunger, Jeff Who Lives at Home, That’s My Boy, Cloud Atlas, Robot & Frank, Arbitrage, Snitch, The Company You Keep, Tammy, The Last of Robin Hood, The Calling, and the list goes on. And although the crazy world of acting doesn’t seem to infringe on her day-to-day life, it has earned her five Oscar nominations for her performances in The Client, Lorenzo’s Oil, Thelma & Louis, Atlantic City and Dead Man Walking, for which she won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and the ASG prize for Best Actress.

Sarandon does nothing in half measures; she surrenders to her characters, creating a sense of empathy with the spectator and pointing out new paths and options in life in the process: “…you have to be aware of what a film says and of the responsibility choosing your jobs entails”. Her ability to make us laugh or cry is an art in itself, summed up in the emotion of a gesture that lingers an eternity. Hers is a spirit that has fully assimilated what it means to be an actress. She is all the characters she has played, a microcosm of the hundreds of women whose humanity she has represented.

This same commitment can be seen in the causes she champions. Her energy and conviction are no less intense today as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF as when she was a university student marching for civil rights. She can be seen visiting mothers with their young children and hugging refugees, always holding out a helping hand, but never allowing her arm to be twisted, being what she knows best how to be: authentic, glamorous, sensual, radical, defiant but always human, incredibly human. A magnetic light on this Earth.