Meeting a big star who is also a great actress excites any movie buff. A strike by now-famous Hollywood actors spoiled the excitement of meeting Susan Sarandon, yesterday’s guest at the Magna Graecia Film Festival in Catanzaro (where she received the Golden Column for Lifetime Achievement). Always affable and generous, the skilled translator of Thelma and Louise, Oscar winner for Dead Man Walking, this time was preceded by an extremely strict dictate, which she, along with colleagues such as Meryl Streep, George Clooney or Charlize Theron, adamantly adheres to. k: it is forbidden to make films, it is forbidden to advertise them, it is also forbidden to simply talk about them, whether they are present, past or future. Fortunately, the unbreakable charm of this seventy-six-year-old “barricade” still shines through, regardless of the topic of conversation.
The Hollywood strike against artificial intelligence and for fair wages is now rampant.
“The turning point has arrived. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, said: “We will hold out until people lose their homes or starve to death.” The movie business has changed; our contracts do not. As for not only the actors, but also the broad sections of American society: the gulf between the rich and the poor is now huge. To receive medical attention, an actor must earn at least $26,000. But 87 percent of us don’t reach them. Don’t think about celebrities like me; but very many who work in secondary roles. So today, whoever is at the top should show solidarity with everyone else.”
You are also concerned about the possible “Frankenstein effect” when using artificial intelligence.
“But also its ethical groundlessness. In practice, studios would like to replace extras or actors in small roles with a scan of their image. And then use it as you wish, forever, without paying more for it. Unacceptable theft. In any case, artificial intelligence is better used to replace some CEO. A profession that doesn’t require much imagination.”
Hollywood has a long tradition of civil rights enthusiasts like her: Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Jane Fonda. Did any of that inspire you, especially when you first started?
“In Hollywood, politics don’t count: it counts money. And the only way for an actor to break this system is to get old, get fat, or star in failed films. Today, with the focus on content management, Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave have been a huge influence on me. But, I confess, in my early years, I didn’t see myself as an actress who could expose herself and challenge the status quo.”
How much has your iron determination helped you in the difficulties of your career?
“Life is an obstacle course, always full of mistakes. But they are what make it interesting: they make us who we are. I want my children to make many mistakes. As for my career, I never confused it with my personality. It’s just a way to communicate.”
We can’t talk about movies, so let’s talk about directors. For example, the only Italian I have worked with: Mario Monicelli in 1971 for La mortadella.
“Can I be honest? Everyone on the set spoke Italian, no one spoke to me. So I remained in the dark about everything. I didn’t even know who the director was. I knew who Sophia Loren was, the main character “.
However, she lived in Rome for several years and is very attached to our country.
“I have been trying to get Italian citizenship for a long time: but I am too old. When the law came out allowing it through my mother (my grandfather was a Sicilian), I was already two years old. Now I’m 76. And yet I drink Italian coffee, eat pasta, I have a daughter with an Italian (director Franco Amurri, approx. ed.) What else can I do to finally become one of you?