(With Photo - Susan Sarandon)
Copley News Service
With credits in more than 60 film and
television productions, including "The Rocky Horror Picture Show,"
"Bull Durham," "Thelma and Louise" and "Dead Man
Walking," Susan Sarandon seems to have done it all in the world of
entertainment. But until the new animated feature, "Rugrats In Paris: The
Movie," this acclaimed actress has never "voiced" a cartoon
character in a full-length animated feature.
The 54-year-old Sarandon has three children
(two by longtime beau, actor Tim Robbins), only one of which is young enough to
remotely fit the profile of a "Rugrats" fan. Nonetheless, this Academy
Award winner is now featured in a rare movie that the PG crowd can see.
How did you wind up as a "Rugrats" character, "Coco LaBouche?"
A. I don't know how it came about! They just asked me. Of course, I knew
what "Rugrats" was about. I was a fan of the TV show and the first
movie. My 8-year-old recently watched the tape again and said that he got a lot
of the jokes now that he didn't understand a few years ago. I sat through any
amount of horrendous children's programming, but I always liked "Rugrats,"
and I was flattered when I was asked.
You've been wicked on screen before. But isn't this your first out-and-out
A. Yeah, I've played a lot of irresponsible people, but not as flashy.
This character is really out there though and she says a lot of horrible things.
What are some of your voice-over credentials?
A. I was in "The Simpsons." I did a thing on Martin Luther
King. I've done an enormous amount of PSAs and pro bono. I probably do a
documentary a week when I'm not working. But usually, I'm not screaming at small
What kind of acting challenge does "Rugrats" present? You do a lot of
the work alone, right?
A. Yeah. Well, I miss being able to get a rhythm going, some kind of
comic timing other than just being hysterical. It felt like all I did was scream
for two years! And because their voices are so tiny and cute, you do have to
scream. But what you really have to do is keep the microphone open and give them
a menu of different extremes to choose from. And you have to do something every
few months for a couple years because it doesn't always work out for the
One of your most striking features is your eyes. But rumor has it that you're
not fond of your look.
A. People always made fun of my eyes. Since kids don't know how to talk
to each other, most of what they say is negative. When I was growing up, this is
what they made fun of. I went through high school squinting!
You're a very political person, identified with left-wing causes. What's your
take on the recent election?
A. This isn't a king we're getting in! There is a system of checks and
balances. It's more important to look to the Congress and Senate. I mean, I'm
not leaving the country, but it's a depressing prospect to have to vote for the
lesser of two evils. I believe in the people of the United States and the
democratic process, but the Democratic Party doesn't speak to me now. We have to
put people before profits and politics. I was so happy to finally vote my
conscience with Nader. We will survive Bush, but nothing really changed under
Clinton. Besides, everybody on Mt. Rushmore got in as a third party! The
Republicans began as a third party dedicated to the women's vote and
You're one of our most esteemed actresses. How do you stay grounded?
A. Once you remove yourself from the real world, it's hard to get back
in! If you travel the streets with bodyguards and an entourage, people notice
you. I participate in my kids' lives. That means I relate to lots of people who
aren't in the business. I'm overextended like a lot of working moms. I don't
know how you can act, which is all about empathy, if you're afraid of people.
I'm so inspired by ordinary people who do extraordinary things. You see it
around you and that's what fills you up.
Horror" is finally out on DVD with cast members offering their comments.
What are your thoughts on the DVD phenomenon?
A. I haven't seen that many, but I think it's very interesting to many
people to have the director speak. Film buffs like it, so why not?
It sounds like you're not exactly a fan of the new technologies?
A. The last time someone asked me if we had e-mail, I said I'm sure that
Tim must have it somewhere. I have no idea (laughs)!
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