I started out wanting to write about this new Tim Robbins interview because it’s the first big one I’ve seen with Tim talking about his split from Susan Sarandon – which was announced late last year, although they had broken up months before hand. His comments on the breakup seem pretty typical to me – blah, blah, “mid-life crisis” et cetera. But then Tim totally goes off on feeling like a slave because Hollywood makes him feel like he isn’t “free” to espouse his liberal political views. Here’s more from the interview:
The actor and director Tim Robbins, who recently split from his long-term partner Susan Sarandon, has revealed how a “midlife crisis” forced him to re-evaluate his life.
The Oscar-winning star of The Shawshank Redemption and Mystic River said that the collpase of a film project made him appreciate how little time he had left and made him think about what he wanted to achieve before he died.
The crisis happened two years ago, just a matter of months before Robbins and Sarandon split up. Robbins and Sarandon, who is 12 years his senior, separated last year after a 23-year relationship that was considered to be one of Hollywood’s most enduring partnerships. The couple never married but have two sons together.
Interviewed on Radio 4′s Desert island Discs, Robbins said his midlife crisis happened during the “insanity” which followed the collapse of his film project.
“I asked myself the question, “What is it that will make you happy? What is it you have not done that you will regret not doing? A midlife crisis – I think we all go through something, it’s inevitable, it’s unavoidable. You’re staring some kind of frightening thing down. It’s when you pass 40, inherently we double our age when we think about life. At 40 you can imagine 80. You start thinking about how many years you’ve got left, and you start thinking, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’”
Robbins said that the experience encouraged him to write an album of songs which he is set to release later this year.
He said: “I was thinking about calling it ‘The Mid-life crisis Album’, but then I thought that’s not going to sell any copies. Then I thought, ‘How about Songs of Love and Misery?’”
In the programme, which is broadcast today, Kirsty Young, the presenter, asked Robbins if he still hoped to find love “post midlife crisis”, to which he replied: “Let’s hope it’s out there”.
Robbins, an outspoken political activist, also spoke of his disappointment at the growing “slavery” of Hollywood stars to the entertainment industry, where he said actors were increasingly afraid of the risks in speaking out on social and political issues.
He said: “That’s unfortunate. It didn’t use to be that way. I don’t believe you are free if you are measured and careful in what you say because you feel that will make you richer or more famous. I think there’s a slavery in that.”
Robbins also described how the industry attempted to ostracise him and Sarandon following the 1993 Oscars ceremony, where the couple sparked controversy by appearing on stage and demanding that President Clinton shut down an internment camp for HIV-positive Haitian refugees in Cuba.
“I did notice a lot of averted eyes,” he said. “Nobody wanted to look at you. They tried to ban us for a long time, but within two years we were back because we were nominated.”
Robbins told Young that he took up acting as a teenager “out of precociousness and a desperate need to get women’s attention” and also spoke of the cut-throat nature of the Hollywood film industry.
He said: “You’re only ever as good as your last box office receipt. In fact, you might have a really good Friday when the movie does very well, so you better go out Friday and Saturday nights, because by Monday, you’re yesterday’s news.”
Robbins’s choice of music for his desert island included Let’s Get it On by Marvin Gaye, Sinnerman by Nina Simone and In Your Mind by Johnny Cash. His luxury was a surfboard and his chosen book was a book of matches.
[From The Telegraph]
You know what? I’m pretty liberal politically, and I’m here to say that Tim gives liberals a douchey name. Tim’s problem isn’t that it’s “slavery” that he can’t say any liberal political belief he wants – his problem is that not everyone agrees with him and not everyone thinks he’s some kind of liberal savant. His problem is that other people are exercising their free speech by calling him a douche for exercising his free speech. His problem is that when he talks about politics, everyone – including most liberals – roll their eyes. And it’s not “slavery” for God’s sake! Is Tim turning into some kind Kristen Stewart-esque douchey hyperbole machine? Tim feels like he won’t be hired for certain jobs because of his vocal political beliefs – how is that slavery? Do producers keep Tim in chains and whip him when he swoons over Ralph Nader? Ugh.
Tim on March 7, 2010. Credit: WENN.