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Susan Sarandon on life, career and politics: “It is getting pretty biblical out there”


We should all listen to Susan Sarandon . Not just because the actress, who won an Oscar playing Sister Helen Prejean in “Dead Man Walking,” is an outspoken activist, or an icon who starred in films ranging from cult classics ” The Rocky Horror Picture Show ” and “The Hunger” to modern-day classics “Atlantic City,” ” Bull Durham ,” and ” Thelma & Louise .” We should listen because she engenders trust. Her signature voice can project confidence or hesitation — sometimes in the same sentence, and that quality only makes one listen more closely: Is she going to inspire us, warn us, or break our hearts?

In her genial new film, “Ride the Eagle,” Sarandon plays Honey, a woman who abandoned her son Leif (an affable Jake Johnson , who cowrote) when he was 12. Now dead, Honey leaves her Yosemite cabin to Leif on the condition that he completes a handful of tasks she assigns him. As Leif begrudgingly goes canoeing and fishing and scatters her ashes, Honey encourages him from a videocassette recording she made to do what he loves and for himself.

“Ride the Eagle” is one of many “mom” roles Sarandon has played over the years. […]

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