Exclusive: Susan Sarandon on Her New TV Series Satirizing George W. Bush
The Oscar-winning actress opens up about her new TV comedy premiering Fall 2016 on Epix that takes aim at disgraced ex-POTUS George W. Bush.
Susan Sarandon, the Oscar-winning actress, David Bowie paramour, and paragon of timeless cool, has made it very clear that she’s no fan of George W. Bush—you know, the smirking frat boy who, as president, led the United States into a costly war under false pretenses, tanked the economy, and got his ass handed to him on live TV by Kanye West. She was one of the earliest celebrity critics of the Iraq War, and threatened to move to France if Bush was re-elected.
Well, it seems Sarandon will finally get her revenge—on the small screen.
The star of films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma & Louise, and The Client is about to begin shooting a new television series in New Mexico, Graves. Created by Joshua Michael Stern (no relation), the 10-episode show is set to premiere fall 2016 on Epix, and will be the network’s first original comedy. Sarandon will play Margaret Graves, the wife of a disgraced U.S. president (Nick Nolte) who has a “come-to-Jesus” moment and decides to go out and repair the damage he’s done 20 years after leaving the Oval Office. Meanwhile, Mrs. Graves flirts with realizing her own political ambitions.
According to Sarandon, the Nolte character is based on none other than George W. Bush. “He’s Bush,” she tells The Daily Beast. “He’s the ex-Republican president who ruined the country, did everything wrong, and wakes up one day and realizes that he fucked up. I’m his wife, and we started out as populist Republicans and, as it happens, got chewed up. So now he’s going through this big thing. Eventually, they ask me to run for the Senate because I’m like the Michelle Obama—a very popular First Lady. And there’s a crazy candidate, like a Trump, and they want me to shoot him down, so I have to decide whether or not I want to run.”
Graves will be both a political satire and a comedy of familial dysfunction, since the Graves family isn’t exactly the most stable former First Family.
“We have two kids—one’s coming back from Afghanistan, and the other just tried to torch her house because her husband was fucking around,” says Sarandon.
The actress, who’s turned in a bunch of cameos and recurring parts over the years on television shows like Friends, Chappelle’s Show, 30 Rock, and Louie, confesses to having been hesitant about joining the TV ranks, but couldn’t pass on such an excellent script.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she says. “Hopefully it’s funny. Nick’s part is fantastic—it’s just so Nick. I’ve said no to TV so many times, but this one sounded so intriguing.”