The Fantastic Ms. Sarandon

This past January, tucked quietly amidst other celebrity news, was a peculiar little piece. Lying somewhere on gossip sites between Lindsays latest drug mishap (yawn) and Demis tweets about her newest cleanse (barf) was a small story about Susan Sarandon spanking men dressed like pigs at an Of Montreal concert at the Highland Ballroom in New York. No need to reread that last sentence.

Susan Sarandon, 63, had recently announced her breakup with Tim Robbins, her partner of 23 years. Was she going wild? Had she lost her mind? She certainly was going unconventional. A few months earlier she opened SPiN, a hipster-rife ping-pong club in New Yorks Flatiron District, where celebs like Judah Friedlander went/go to drink Delirium Tremens and paddle away. (In case you live under a rock, Sarandon has also been linked to one of her partners at SPiN, the very adorable and very young Jonathan Bricklin. Despite trips to Italy and Peru together for business, Sarandons reps deny anything going on between the two.)

Never the conformist, Ms. Sarandon was certainly partaking in some odd post-break-up activities. Especially for 63! She didnt seem wild or acting-out, though. She seemedhappy (and if possible, more gorgeous than ever).

She and her children got tattoos together. Her stunning look-alike daughter, Eva Amurri, got the Latin word conscientia, while she treated her son to an image of the Indian god Ganesh (instead of the classic mom in a heart he originally wanted). And for herself? She now dons her childrens initials on her spine and the letters ANDAND on her wrist for A New Dawn A New Day.

Much like everything else she does, Susan Sarandon getting tattoos in her 60s is, well, cool. Unlike other celebrities who desperately try to cling to their youth (Im looking at you, Nicole Kidmans forehead), nothing about Sarandon smells like an attempt at being young and rebellious. She is clearly comfortable in her own skin. And she practically invented rebellious (Rocky Horror Picture Show or White Palace anyone?).She is even a card-carrying member of that envious group who not only ages gracefully, but handles it with a sense of humor. On getting inked, she remarked, Why not? I turned 60 and after a while you think, Well Ive only got my body for a few more years anyway.Despite Sarandons longevity in Hollywood, she has never been tabloid fodder, and thats hows it remained after her split with Robbins. Save the occasional is-she-or-isnt-she dating Bricklin piece, Sarandon still has managed to stay somewhat under the radareven with her new zest for life. There wasnt a barrage of US Weekly covers like a certain sextuplet-toting couple we know. Susan and Robbins quietly split and she seemed to genuinely move on with her life. Doing things that made her happy (as odd as they may seem), Sarandon was far from being pegged a victim.Perhaps the secret to her youthfulness, she seemed to be spending more time with her daughter and her daughters friends. Sarandon was spotting taking in a secret Rufus Wainwright concert with Amurri and pals at the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel (along with Scarlett Johansson and Drew Barrymore). She even took pole-dancing classes with her daughter when Eva was learning some moves for her role on Californication. Always a mom though, Sarandon saved the day at her daughters 25th birthday party at the swanky Chelsea lounge, 1Oak. Spotting a wobbling cake, the veteran actress ran to make sure it didnt falland fall it did not. In spite of being covered in frosting afterwards, Sarandon caught the three-tiered pink burlesque-themed cake, making sure her daughter got to make a wish.
Its not all tattoos and ping-pong for Susan Sarandon, though. Long known for her work with UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations, she still takes issues she cares about to heart. Her latest cause is human sex trafficking. She currently is speaking out against the horrific crime in a new campaign aimed at raising funds for victims."I just find the whole idea of sex trafficking with children a nightmare you can't even believe is real," she told CBS last month.She was also front-and-center at a ceremony to re-open the ancient Incan fortress site at Machu Picchu this April. Flooding had closed the popular tourist attraction down for more than 2 months and Sarandon made sure she was there to support. She also brought Jonathan Bricklin with her, which begged the question whether or not the trip was strictly business.Quit to combat rumors, Bricklin told the New York Observer, "She's amazing and I'm so lucky to be her business partner. We have a great relationship. I've gone on trips with her to meet with ping-pong players, and she has been extremely generous with her time. She's one of my closest friends now. But as far as a romantic relationship, we are not having one. I'm flattered people think that we might be." Aw shucks.Susan Sarandon has led a charmed life, thats for sure; and at 63, she shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, its quite the opposite. A free spirit and a rebel through and through, perhaps Sarandon is really making 60 the new 30. At least shes trying.--About the Author: Nicole Fabian is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York
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