After several nominations, Sarandon finally took home the Oscar for Best Actress in 1996 for her performance in the 1995 film, “Dead Man Walking.” The film, directed by her then-partner Tim Robbins, features Sean Penn and Sarandon in a gripping crime drama.
Sarandon plays Sister Helen Prejean, a nun that constantly visits a convicted prisoner in the hopes of serving as a spiritual adviser. The film was a critical and commercial success, with jaw-dropping performances by Sarandon and Penn alike. Funnily enough, when the real nun Helen Prejean heard that Sarandon would be playing her in a film, she shouted, “Thank God! It’s Louise!”.
A Very Big Paycheck
The next time Susan Sarandon attended the Academy Awards was not long after that explosive event with Robbins. This time it was for a nomination for Best Actress was for her role in 1994’s “The Client.” The film was a huge commercial and critical success. Sarandon held her own by portraying the character of Regina “Reggie” Love, a lawyer and recovering alcoholic.
Thanks to its whopping success, Sarandon got a hefty $5 million paycheck for her role in “The Client”. At the time, it was an incredible amount of money, which gave Sarandon the title of one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
While she does have a knack for dark and quirky projects, Sarandon has quite a diverse background, covering multiple genre. Heartfelt dramas are obviously included. The 1994 film “Little Women,” based on the beloved novel by Louisa May Alcott, is one movie audiences aren’t likely to ever forget.
It was a critical and commercial success, featuring some of Hollywood’s best actresses, including Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, and the fabulous Susan Sarandon. Sarandon played Mrs. March, the matriarch of the March girls, and she performed beautifully, making us feel every emotion possible during those two hours in the theater.
A Short Stint in Animation
After her triumph in “Dead Man Walking,” Susan Sarandon went on to do her first voice-over gig in an animation film. Sarandon did the voice of the beloved spider character in “James and the Giant Peach.” It was the first time she had ever dabbled in dubbing.
Even though it didn’t fare well at the box office, the film, produced by Tim Burton, was loved by critics and audiences. It also gave Sarandon a new project to add to her ever-successful acting career. Sarandon then went back to regular film and starred in “Twilight,” a crime drama alongside Paul Newman and Gene Hackman.
The ‘Stepmom’ Gossip
Chris Columbus, the esteemed director of the classics "Home Alone" and "Mrs. Doubtfire" wanted Sarandon to be one of his stars, and so she was cast to play the nasty ex-wife of Ed Harris, who begins dating young and beautiful Julia Roberts.
The film was a tear-jerking drama that was generally well-received, but the juicy gossip came after. It turns out there were rumors about Sarandon and Roberts hating each other and fighting on set. It turns out that this was a P.R. stunt created by a staff member. “We actually loved working with each other and became great friends,” said Sarandon.