| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Aug 27 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
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.
After spotting Beverly on a studio lot where she was working
as a dancer, Flynn invited her to a bogus audition, took her to
dinner and seduced her. Aadland was so starstruck she convinced
herself their relationship was innocent until confronted with
"They originally deceived her for quite a bit and she
definitely wasn't trying to ask too many questions or push too
much because she believed that this was her daughter's big
break. The irony, of course, was the daughter had so little
interest in the business," said Sarandon.
A divorcee and an alcoholic, Aadland accompanied Flynn and
her daughter everywhere to deflect any suggestions of
"He very smartly thought that if the mother is there all the
time there won't be so much gossip, so they used her in a way,"
When news of the scandal broke, Aadland was accused of
contributing to the delinquency of a minor and later lost
custody of Beverly. Without her daughter's permission she wrote
a book about the affair called "The Big Love."
"What interested me was this agreement that they got into,"
"Everybody donated to the illusion," the actress added.
(Editing by Eric Kelsey and Andrew Hay)