Before winning an Oscar, before playing baseball’s most famous groupie, even before starring in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Susan Sarandon was a struggling young actress who had to schlep from audition to audition like anyone else in the business. But sometimes, her humbling casting encounters veered into icky territory. The 66-year-old actress tells Elle magazine that when she first arrived in New York, she was subjected to the legendary “casting couch,” in which producers and filmmakers “audition” vulnerable young talent in the most predatory and vulgar manner. “I just went into a room, and a guy practically threw me on the desk,” she said. “It was my early days in New York, and it was really disgusting. It wasn’t like I gave it a second though, it was so badly done.”
“It was not successful — for either of us,” Sarandon said.
Sarandon, who’s been nominated for five Academy Awards and won Best Actress for Dead Man Walking, was married to actor Chris Sarandon, a college classmate, when she made her first screen appearance in 1970’s Joe, opposite Peter Boyle. She did not identify when the casting-couch incident occurred, though judging from her statement that it was not successful “for either of us,” it is likely to have been for a role she did not land.