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Susan Sarandon speaking at an exhibit by Swire Properties. PHOTO: Edwina Kluender-Adams

Susan Sarandon Gave a Talk in a Hallway at Art Basel Hong Kong and It Was Awesome

Academy award winner and social activist Susan Sarandon drew crowds of paparazzi and onlookers at Art Basel Hong Kong earlier today when she held court in a bustling hallway pop-up exhibit. Among a crowd of art lovers and the occasional screaming child, the actress waxed philosophical about her career choices, being snubbed by a fellow Oscar winner, pollution in Hong Kong, and whether women can have it all. Nothing was off the table, even when I asked her about the recent film bans instituted by the Indian and Chinese governments.

Here’s what the always outspoken Sarandon had to say:

On Defining Art
“Art is the transformation of energy into something else, whether it be clothes design or children or building or cooking. [Art is] anything that you are focused on and present. If you can make a living doing it, it’s kind of a bonus.”

On Film Acting
“It’s a medium where mediocrity is awarded abundantly so you can’t take it too seriously.”

On Putting Yourself in Other People’s Shoes
“If you can imagine yourself in a situation, then the next step is empathy and if you have empathy, then the next step is action.”

On Not Speaking Up
“It’s hard to live with yourself. If you have one of those moments where you can say something and you don’t…That haunts you for the rest of your life.”

On Activism
“If you can educate the public and embarrass them it is a very effective way of changing things.”

On Selma
“That’s about the courage that’s in every person when called upon.”

On Finding Love Among Different Races, Ages, and Sexes
“Circumstances are all just details.”

On Goals
“Being authentic is your life’s job.”

On That Time She and Tim Robbins Spoke Out at the Oscars Against America’s Detention of Haitians with HIV and Fellow Oscar Winner Charlton Heston’s Public Reprimand
“Charlton Heston said that’s as if I invited anyone into my living room and they pissed on my rug. And I said ‘What rug is he talking about?’ Because he wore that horrible toupee.”

On Fortune Telling
“Charlton Heston and I have the same birthday so this just goes to show you that you can’t believe in astrology at all.”

On Hong Kong
“Everyone’s been really nice. What I can see through the fog is really beautiful.”

On the Recent Banning of Documentaries Under the Dome in China and India’s Daughter in India
“I’m against censorship of any kind…Whenever there is a crackdown on information it makes people want it more.”

On Women Having the Perfect Work/Life Balance
“You can have it all, but you can’t have it all perfectly. But what is perfect? Perfect is kind of boring.”

On Going It Alone
“The curse of the competent woman is forgetting to ask for help.”

On Men and Manners
“Guys, open a door now and then. You can get so many coupons for that. Plan a date now and then.”

 

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