Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks to “Feud” star Susan Sarandon about why she signed on for the FX series, the powerful message executive producer Ryan Murphy brought to the project, and why she’s ready to do another TV project.
“Bette Davis has been chasing me since I was a kid,” she says. Sarandon says she’s been offered a number of projects, including plays and scripts. But it wasn’t until Ryan Murphy revisited it with her as a series that she was finally ready to sign on. “He seemed to have a handle on it,” she says. “I love the fact that you could give it a context that was more interesting than how to ask bigger questions about Hollywood now. … It just seemed like now is the time.”
Murphy didn’t have any finished scripts, but she was persuaded by his enthusiasm for the project. “I think the good thing in surrendering to Ryan is that you know that he’s in charge,” she says. “He’s not going to be whittled down by a committee. … I’d always rather throw my faith in with someone who has a vision. … I felt that with Ryan there would be a voice.”
And once those scripts came in, she found that she had more in common than she realized with the character she was set to play. “In terms of our being outside of the Hollywood community and not wanting to, she wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of being a movie star but was a real workhorse,” she say. “I…
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