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Thelma & Louise ending: Susan Sarandon on alternate idea

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Roland Neveu

The ending to Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise has become an enduring classic — and a very brave choice: faced with incarceration after going on the run, the film’s title characters drive off a cliff (“keep on going”) and into the Grand Canyon, falling to their deaths. But in an alternate reality, it all could have been different.

“When I met with Ridley, I said, ‘So really, are you going to… don’t have me do this and then when you test it and everybody gets bummed out, you’re going to reshoot and we’re going to be alive after all,'” star Susan Sarandon, who played Louise in the film, told EW during our Thelma & Louise reunion. “And he said, ‘Well, I can tell you that you will definitely die, but I’m not sure about the other one.'” Scott was referring to Geena Davis’ Thelma. “He said, ‘You might push her out of the car or something,'” Sarandon recalled.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and the ending remained true to Callie Khouri’s script.

“I think by then we had earned that ending,” Sarandon said of the scene, which wound up being the last both actresses shot during production.

“It was very emotional for me, and maybe us. It was the last scene of the movie, we had 20 minutes to get it, and we’re going to say goodbye to each other. And so, meta!” Davis said of the experience shooting the finale. “I turned and looked at her, I realized the whole experience was over, and I felt really sad.”

For more from the stars on the film’s ending, 25 years later, watch above. And check out more from EW’s reunion below. To get the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday, buy it here — and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.