Skip to main content

Susan Sarandon has been working as an actor for over 50 years, and her career is still going strong today. In 1998, Sarandon co-starred with Julia Roberts in the movie Stepmom. Even 24 years later, fans remember it as a heart-wrenching story of love and loss. The film’s writers took an extra step to understand what it’s like to lose a parent, and the result is an authentic glimpse of the grief a child experiences at the loss of their parent. 

Susan Sarandon has led a storied career

susan sarandon stepmom
Susan Sarandon attends “The Meddler” Premiere during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC John Zuccotti Theater on April 19, 2016 in New York City. | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

According to Biography, Sarandon’s long acting career has earned her critical acclaim and an impressive shelf full of awards. But it all started in 1975 with her role in the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Although she’d been acting for about five years before she appeared in the campy film, its passionate fan base made her a rising star. 

She got her first Academy Award nomination in 1980 for her work in the movie Atlantic City. From there, she went on to appear in many iconic films, including Bull Durham, The Witches of Eastwick, Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, and Dead Man Walking. 

In 1998, she co-starred in the movie Stepmom. It’s widely remembered as a tear-jerker, and it turns out that there’s a good reason for its most poignant moments. 

The ‘Stepmom’ writers revised the script after talking to 1 star

In Stepmom, Sarandon played a woman who was terminally ill. As she faces death, she must come to terms with her ex-husband’s girlfriend (played by Roberts), and the relationship she will have with her kids. 

In a YouTube video for Vanity Fair, Sarandon explained that the writers worked hard to get the elements of the story right, and even sought out the expertise of a child who had experienced loss. Their conversation with this child, Liam Aiken, who played Sarandon’s character’s son, even led the writers to revisit the script.

“Liam had lost his father when he was two,” Sarandon explained. “So the whole script took a whole other rewrite, and I was like, ‘What would you have wanted to hear from your dad?'”

The attention to how losing a parent affects a child was one of the things that made the movie ring true.

Another factor that resonated with people was the prickly relationship between Sarandon and Roberts’ characters. In fact, it seemed so authentic that people actually believed the women hated each other in real life. 

Who started the rumors that ‘Stepmom’ co-stars Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon didn’t get along?


Susan Sarandon Revealed a ‘Thelma & Louise’ Sequel Was Considered: The Potential Plot Was a ‘Very Bad Idea’

Naturally, the mother and stepmother in the movie have some difficulty getting along. But according to Cinema Blend, stories circulated that there was tension on the set. Supposedly, the actors playing these roles were also hostile toward each other. 

During the press tour for the movie, Sarandon and Roberts did their best to dispel the rumors. They insisted that they were friends, and even called the rumors “boring.” But despite their best efforts, the stories wouldn’t go away. Almost 20 years later, in 2017, Sarandon explained that she’d finally discovered why.

She tweeted, “Press printed that Julia & I hated each other during Stepmom. Found out it was my PR person creating the rumors.”