Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, 65, sat down with Parade to discuss her latest film Jeff, Who Lives At Home, her views on love, and being a mom to her three kids Eva, 27, Jack, 23, and Miles, 20.
On her parenting philosophy: “I said no to my kids a lot about certain things and made them accountable for where they were. But in other areas I probably seemed more relaxed. My boys definitely come down on the side of Jeff. I don’t mind if they smoke weed if it’s not constantly. And I would welcome them home as long as they picked up their towels. I always have a lot of kids around and am always explaining to them that they need to be responsible for their friends too. My eldest son graduated from USC in May and he was hired to go across the United States and film different demographics of homeless people. When he arrived with his crew in July, they stayed until mid-September when I kicked them out since I had to get his brother to school. That was fabulous, there were kids everywhere, but it was a struggle to not act like it was a crash pad. They have to respect your house.”
On how she got her kids involved in the world: “By example. I never pulled them along. The only thing I insisted upon was doing a service project before they graduated from high school. Both of my boys worked for Habitat for Humanity. Eva wanted to create a nursery at a shelter so we came in and painted, did the floors. Then I asked our friends, people who had been mentors to my kids or had known them their whole life, to write letters. I took pictures of their projects. And then my kids had to write a letter to themselves, that I couldn’t read. It was something they could read later on and see where they were at 17. I put all of that in a scrapbook for each of them.”
On choosing family over career: “When the kids were little, I worked in the summers or worked in New York. By then, I was a very old mom so it didn’t cost me anything to give up a certain amount of my career. I found what was happening to me so much more interesting. I always worked from the point of view that my kids were good kids and if they were acting out or something was wrong, then it wasn’t that I needed to crack down but needed to understand was going on.”
On her views on love: “It’s all about expressing your love constantly. My kids are so sick of text messages from me telling them I love them. Tell your friends, telling your relatives. I’m totally open to loving. I am in a job that makes you use that muscle. When you are connected to another person onscreen and listening, that is the openness that loving is about. The way I’ve gotten this reputation for being sexual is because I am a good listener— that connection onscreen is chemistry. I crave that, I try to give that. I think it’s the healthiest thing for a person to do. Are you vulnerable? Yeah, but the love vibration is what keeps you going. I highly recommend it and whenever possible, I’m there.
Continue reading the interview with Susan at Parade.com…