Desperately seeking Susan
Susan Sarandon will give any other actress a run for her money. At 67, she defies her age and looks fantastic. Dressed in olive green pants with a soft, floral cream shirt, Susan looked beautiful when she saw her audience from across the stage. She was her usual self; articulate, frank and vocal enough for any question that was shot at her.
After a strained Q&A with Barkha Dutt for the Master class held during IFFI 2013 that included speaking about the Iraq War, Barack Obama etc. and talking about the importance of dissent, the actress said, “By the time we got to the 2nd Iraq war, there was trauma within the United States after 9/11. Our leader at that time turned this into ‘if you are not with us, you are against us’. There was an atmosphere of fear. At that time it became very tough to ask questions because then you became ‘un-American’. It was the worst to have stories in the papers about my children that weren’t true. 9/11 completely destabilised most people in America. That was a difficult time to ask questions. There was fear of being criticised there. We should have more participation in a democratic way.”
She also mentioned that she preferred the interviews here as Indian reporters ask many more ‘real’ questions instead of indulging in gossip like during junkets abroad. Susan was her lively self when the audience got their chance to ask her questions. “I would like to age gracefully though there are a lot of women my age who look fantastic. I am going for 100!”, she exclaimed when quizzed about age being no bar for Hollywood actress as compared to Indian actresses cast as leading ladies.
The Oscar winning actress mentioned on a lighter note that she would love to be part of a Bollywood film but only after she takes dance lessons. “I would love to make documentaries. With new technology, one can do so much, and tell beautiful stories. My daughter has written her first script and we are in the process of a pilot for a TV show back home”.
She says that filmmakers are equally responsible when it comes to making a good film. A director has to be smart about casting and should have a good, playful nature, because an actor surrenders to the director who is like the captain of a ship.
Susan, who won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Dead Man Walking says she has enjoyed every moment of her celebrity status. “Being in films is a great job. I have no regrets or complaints. I think you can use your celebrity status to give voice to the voiceless,” added the UNICEF Goodwill ambassador who has been working in the field of youth advocacy since 1999.