Self-deluded stage mom grabs 'The Last of Robin Hood' spotlight

Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:45pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thwarted ambition and shattered dreams push actress Susan Sarandon to become the ultimate stage mother in "The Last of Robin Hood," a drama about the final fling of middle-aged matinee idol Errol Flynn and his teenage lover.

As Florence Aadland, the mother of Flynn's young paramour Beverly, Sarandon ventures into Aadland's deluded nature and complicit role in the illicit two-year affair that shocked Hollywood when it was made public after Flynn's death in 1959.

"I thought that it was so interesting how we self-delude in order to survive, in order to get what we think is the best thing," Sarandon, 67, said about the film that opens in U.S. theaters on Friday.

Sarandon, an Oscar winner for "Dead Man Walking," has played mothers, and even a grandmother, in films ranging from "Pretty Baby" in 1978 to 2014's comedy "Tammy."

As the frumpish Aadland, a former dancer whose career ended when she lost a leg in a car accident, Sarandon portrays a woman who lived vicariously through the daughter she had groomed for a career in Hollywood.

"Whatever her idea of the good life was, it definitely had some kind of link to show business. All those people who went out to Hollywood in those days, before it was so corporate, were able to look at it as a chance, as a dream," Sarandon said.

Academy Award winner Kevin Kline ("A Fish Called Wanda") plays Flynn, the hard-drinking, notorious ladies' man known for his swashbuckling roles in the 1930s films "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and "Captain Blood."

Flynn had already faced two accusations of statutory rape that nearly ruined his waning career when he met Beverly, played by actress Dakota Fanning of the "Twilight" films.   Continued...

Actress Susan Sarandon arrives at the Time 100 gala celebrating the magazine's naming of the 100 most influential people in the world for the past year in New York April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson