'The Power of One': Interview with Susan Sarandon

The star says imagination and empathy are what make her an actor--and an activist.

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So I would hope they would develop some kind of habit that involves understanding that their life is so full they can afford to give in all kinds of ways to other people. I consider that to be baseline spirituality.

The heart is a muscle like every other muscle. The more you use it...

I think I'm an actor because I have very strong imagination and empathy. I never studied acting, but those two qualities are exactly the qualities that make for an activist.

 


It's great to see people who find joy in service and don't close their eyes and aren't afraid.

When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you. As my little guy said when he first learned about the origins of man, he said, "So Mom, I guess there really isn't such a thing as a stranger, is there?"

It's a spirituality that's empowering and inclusive and gives you a world that's so large and full of possibilities and so full of rewards. That's joyful.

The people you meet-when I was down after [September] 11th at Ground Zero, I was running into people that I knew from the soup kitchens, from Habitat, that I remembered. They're just everywhere. It's great to see people who find joy in service and don't close their eyes and aren't afraid.

"If you see someone in a box..."
If you walk down the street and see someone in a box, you have a choice. That person is either the other and you're fearful of them, or that person is an extension of your family. And that makes you at home in that world and not fearful. So really it's very self-serving.

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