April 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT

It was the role that put Brad Pitt on the Hollywood map: that of J.D., the sexiest grifter in film history, who — in the words of Louise (Susan Sarandon) — lays Thelma (Geena Davis) properly.

“There were five candidates for the part,” Davis told EW during our Thelma & Louise reunion. As the actress recalled, she did screen tests with all the possible actors, and while director Ridley Scott didn’t immediately ask Davis for her opinion on the quintet, she had one at the ready.

“They didn’t ask me afterward what I thought,” she told EW of Scott and the film’s casting director. “I said, ‘Do you want to hear what I thought?’ They said, ‘Oh, yes, of course.’ I said, ‘The blond one! Hello?'”

Pitt, that aforementioned blond one, has since become an international superstar, and according to Sarandon that’s because of how he plays off his appearance. “He, Johnny Depp… there are a few of these guys who are so beautiful, and yet they played characters,” Sarandon said. “They have the balls and curiosity to not just coast in on their good looks. They really welcomed and approached a lot of their leading men as character parts.” She added, “When you look at him, he’s a really good looking, American, sexy boy. He could have gone the way of a TV series kind of thing. But there’s something about him that knew how to take that and make it really interesting.”

Watch Davis and Sarandon recall how the crew reacted to Davis’ sex scene with Pitt above, and for more on EW’s reunion of Thelma & Louise, check out the videos 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.

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