Her most treasured possession? A bracelet made of rubies, gold, and her children’s baby teeth
She rocks out to Geldof but nods off at the mere sight of champagne and you might be surprised about the one law the Thelma And Louise star would like to change... Interview by Chrissy Iley
What is your earliest memory?
I would have been about four years old and I was at home in Jackson Heights, New York, sitting on the steps, staring at the wall above the staircase and imagining I was seeing films.
What sort of a child were you?
I spoke very early and was very precocious in the way that little girls are when they’re the first child. I can remember my dad would make kites out of brown paper and we would fly them in the park across from our apartment building. One day the kite smashed and my father said my little chin was quivering, but I turned and said to him, ‘Don’t worry Daddy, it will be all right.’ I think that says a lot. You should be bursting into tears, not telling your father it will be all right.
What is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
In the lead up to the Iraq War someone called me an ‘American hating ****.’ I was with my son and it was in the middle of the day. I wasn’t even participating in anything political at the time – at least then you can expect things like that. It really caught me unawares.
Who would your dream dinner date be?
I miss Gore Vidal and I miss Timothy Leary. They were fascinating men. I’d love to have dinner with them again. I’d also like to sit down with the new Pope and talk to him about a few things. He’s a marked improvement on his predecessor and has made great strides in opening up the honesty of the Vatican, but there are still a few problematic areas.
What or who do you dream about?
I haven’t had this for a while but for years I had a recurring dream where a catastrophe had happened and I was trying to round up my siblings and there was always someone who was giving me a hard time. Sometimes we were trying to escape a flood, sometimes it was wild animals. And there was always someone lagging behind that I couldn’t find.
Which living person do you most despise?
Those people who have endangered and ruined lives through lies. For instance, the Bush regime. It is still affecting so many people who gave their hearts and souls to what they thought was a cause, that was in fact completely bogus. Many people did not have the courage or take the time to really stand up under pressure. I am disappointed with those people, including the Democrats who voted for the Iraq War without thinking it through. It’s going to have repercussions for my children for a very long time.
What is your most treasured possession?
A bracelet made out of my children’s baby teeth. It’s very beautiful. Each tooth is connected with a little gold thread and a ball. The molars look like tiny pearls and there is an opal, which is my birthstone, and three little rubies. If I lost it I would just die.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I keep a scrapbook of my life. Before I had children I used to write in journals, but now I keep mementoes – pictures, airline tickets, postcards.
If you could change one law, what would it be?
I would legalise marijuana across the board everywhere, with regulation of course. I’m not really interested in drinking, champagne
makes me fall asleep…
What keeps you awake at night?
There’s no one specific worry, but it’s all the loose ends. All the things that happened in the day that I have to remember. All the little things on my to-do list. All those little details. If I give my word on something I want to get it done, so I’m always checking to make sure I follow through.
If you could edit your past what would you change?
I would like to make my mistakes faster and then ensure I didn’t repeat them. That said, things that have been a disaster have ultimately been the greatest lessons.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
That I don’t always live in the present. Sometimes I get pushed along by the tidal wave that is my life and I get a bit lost. I’d like to be better at that. I blame the fact I have two sides to my personality; the one who wants to be grounded and the one who wants to be free. Living in New York has made it easier to stay connected. If I was isolated behind gates in Beverly Hills I wonder if I would be able to maintain my connection to the bigger picture at all.
Susan Sarandon’s new film Tammy is out on July 4
‘I have a bracelet made out of my children’s baby teeth. If I lost it I would just die’
Susan Sarandon in Tammy