AARP Eye Center
Susan Sarandon, 73, tells AARP about Xavier Dolan's The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, starring Game of Thrones heartthrob Kit Harington as a tragically closeted TV actor, with her as his mom — her 64th role since turning 60.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.
On playing a tormented star's alcoholic stage mother
The director, Xavier Dolan [an ex–child star whose film Mommy took the Cannes Jury Prize in 2014], puts his mom in every movie. I was honored to join that group of women with blue eyeshadow that are surrogates for his mom — he told me they have a much better relationship now.
The courage of Jon Snow
It was such a great thing to see Kit Harington [the Games of Thrones heartthrob] taking the chance to play someone closeted in the entertainment business, assaulted by the tabloids, having to decide what price to pay to be authentic, fun and interesting. And the cast! [Natalie Portman, 38; Kathy Bates, 71; Thandie Newton, 47; Michael Gambon, 79.] When Philadelphia was filming, nobody wanted to play someone gay — it was a huge thing that Antonio Banderas and Tom Hanks were in it. When Chris [Sarandon, her first husband] did Dog Day Afternoon and was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor as the person whose sex change operation Al Pacino robs the bank to pay for, that really did put a stop to his career. But now there's so much pressure against you to play gay if you're not gay, though it didn't seem to hurt Catherine Deneuve and me [in the hit The Hunger].