This week has driven home what was already a crystal-clear message: the experience of being a woman in Hollywood is rife with indignities. Read about the worst of them here, but also don’t forget the massive pay discrepancy between male and female actors, female-specific ageism, and being told that any number of choices made around procreation will “ruin your career.” Take heart though. Women are continuing to stand up for themselves, and some have been at it for some time now. Take Susan Sarandon, who began to have children when she was nearly in her forties, and faced some serious skepticism in the process.
The Hollywood staple, speaking to Good Housekeeping along with her costar in A Bad Moms Christmas, Kathryn Hahn, said that the worst advice she ever got was to forget about children. “I think it was ‘Don’t have the baby,’ as though it would ruin my career, and I was so old anyway,” Sarandon said, noting that this advice came from another mom. “I had my first baby at 39 and my third at 45, and with each child, [people were] like, ‘Are you crazy? Don’t!’”
It paid off, apparently. Thrice, in fact. She’s nurtured three separate humans into adulthood: Miles, now 25, and Jack, 28, with Tim Robbins, and Eva Amurri Martino, 32, with Franco Amurri. Somehow, some way Sarandon still got work over the last 30-some odd years, even while bringing up babies. Even while on the far side of 40.
Sarandon shared two other revelations that are less about dismantling the barriers to gender parity in Hollywood, but no less satisfying to read. Good Housekeeping can exclusively share that the actress’s grandkids call her “Honey,” and she wears a clown nose to bring levity to serious situations. “All my kids have a sense of humor,” she told the magazine. “I even have a clown nose for having serious conversations—it stops you from getting emotionally loaded.”
Just imagine: Honey wearing a clown nose to talk about why it’s vital to contribute…