Susan Sarandon delves deep into her & # 39; outrageous & # 39; Search social gathering character: & # 39; Your declare is gigantic & # 39;
When it came to casting search parties eccentric, glamorous, and often through Lylah, the show's EPs knew they needed a stunner.
"Early on we thought, 'Whoever plays Lylah has to be the most exciting and incredible casting you can imagine," said Charles Rogers, co-creator of TVLine.
Well, mission accomplished.
Stage and film veteran Susan Sarandon was more than just a game to immerse yourself in Search Party's special brand of insane comedy. In two episodes of the fourth season, Sarandon plays the extravagant aunt of the stalker Chip, who is asked to track down her nephew as soon as Dory's kidnapping is held responsible for her family. Always dressed to impress, Lylah eventually discovers that Chip had Dory hiding in the basement of her Massachusetts home and is actively trying to cover his tracks while it hosts a scandal – and super gross! – their own secret.
Sarandon, whose recent TV credits include Ray Donovan and Feud: Bette and Joan, says she was happy to get back to the small screen and slip into Lylah's shoes … along with her iridescent wigs and luscious fur coats. Here the actress speaks to TVLine about why Search Party was so tempting, her character's super dark family history and recent TV binges – including the powerful feat that made her feel "like a P-Ssy".
TVLINE | Your character was by far my favorite part of Season 4. What were your first impressions of Lylah and why did you want to play them?
Honestly, I didn't know what they would come up with, I just loved the show and Charles [Rogers]. Cole [Escola who plays Chip] I know Amy Sedaris and Todd Oldham and I thought they were a talent. Before I even knew what the script was going to look like, I thought, "Oh my god, this is going to be fun and scary." I just wanted to work with them and I was ready for the fun. John [Early, who plays Elliott] too. I found the whole cast so talented and kind of unexpected.
It was a bit like when I went to Rocky Horror and everyone was like, "What are you doing?" and I said, "Oh, I don't know, I think it'll be fun!" I sound like Helen Hayes or something, but we really need to encourage people to come up with something that is fresh and daring. I also felt that while the show is so outrageous, it comes across some interesting avenues of exploration and self-analysis. It gives you the opportunity to explore loneliness, peer pressure, honesty, and identity. I like the way your thoughts work. When I got there, I was really glad I made the choice. We pushed it in before everything was locked. That was luck. And I can wear a wig … you can't say no to that! And fur coats all the time!
TVLINE | Oh, I definitely wanted to ask you about Lylah's fashion! Did you keep something off the set? This eye-catching gold chain and coat were especially fabulous.
Look, I gave her back in the hopes that they'd keep her next time I'm on the show. Feeling generous, I said, "Just hold on, honey, so you have me back!" Hope they find a way to keep Lylah there when they play another season. [Editor's note: Search Party recently renewed for Season 5.] No, I didn't keep anything. I've only kept Cole, John, Alia and Charles as friends to write and DM, so this was better than any gold necklace.
TVLINE | You checked off another question on my list … would you play the character again.
Oh yeah. Certainly. I don't know what the conspiracy would be, but Charles said, "You'll be back when we get back." They work really well together and they were so, so warm to me and couldn't have been nicer. I like to think about it, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I would love to do it again. Absolutely.
Of course, Griffin [Dunne who plays Richard Wreck, Chip's father] and I go way back so it was a shame we didn't actually see each other. But I look forward to maybe working with him if they find something for us in the future. We had started an improvisation group a long time ago that would meet up with a few others like Madeline Khan, Paul Dooley, Peter Boyle and Carol Kane. So I've known Griffin from the start and I love the fact that we're at least connected by phone.
TVLINE | Did [co-creators] Charles and Sarah-Violet [Bliss] introduce this character to you, and if so, how did they explain it?
He just said it was a small but crucial part. I don't mind if something isn't big, but the character has to have a reason to be there. Because I've had the experience that sometimes I do something to help people get their money and then when it comes out it's practically cut out because it's not really necessary. But Charles said, "You're definitely a conspiracy. We need you in there."
Then I met up with the cloakroom guys who were fabulous … those amazing fur coats every time! You're probably too young, but in the early days of music videos, everyone's clothes changed like 17 times in a video. I always thought this would be really fun without bowing down to anything real. Every time we see them it's different. [Laughs]
TVLINE | That would totally fit the character!
And I couldn't believe it when I got to the set and this room was ready. The room that [Chip] is recreating for her apartment is muddy and felt. I just said, "Wow, that's genius."
TVLINE | So you didn't know anything about Lylah's incestuous story with her brother then? What was your first reaction to that?
I loved it! This scene was a little longer and was even more sexual. Then they put the little bit in where I say, "Find a penny, pick it up, kiss your brother till he grows up," which I think was more obvious in the original script. I thought that was wild. If someone is smart and creates outrageous characters with really funny storylines, this is how you can play it right away. You don't have to push at all. And it's really so much fun to be able to say these lines and say them frankly and directly like it wasn't a big deal that you just saw a room full of chains. [Laughs] I love Lylah and her moral bottom line. What she finds obnoxious and how long she's been in her whole bladder, and her whole classicism thing, is really funny too. Her aspirational gene is pretty enormous, especially for a woman.
TVLINE | Did you have a favorite scene from your time on set?
I loved working with Cole when we had to do more than a few screaming lines against each other. You are so talented and so cute and that was very special. I wish I had more things with all of the kids because I really admired them all. I found her so professional, really on it all the time.
I have to say the whole idea of the car going in circles on this endless roundabout [in episode 7s "The Infinite Loop"] … just reading it made me laugh! I hope it worked well for others too because it was stupid but was really fun. When I saw it, it didn't seem as bad as it felt when we drove. It seemed faster and made me dizzy! It didn't seem like it when we saw the finale [episode] but trust me it got really awkward after a while! It was like an actor's nightmare.
TVLINE | Lylah seems completely untouched by the corpse in her freezer and the chains in her basement. While she may seem warm in certain scenes, she's perfectly fine with burning Dory alive. Do you see her as the bad guy?
I think she tries to protect her family and [other] people are expendable. She was raised that way. I think ruining their reputation would be more annoying to them than throwing someone down the stairs. The life of these low people is just very cheap for them. She could have become a plantation owner. She must have that in her DNA somewhere. The whole world is there for her to serve her.
If we really want to get dark you would think that she was probably molested. The whole thing is very rotten. She grew up at a time and in a family where everyone took what they wanted. Whoever was in power simply took it and that was not only seen as your right, but also admired. They protect their own. She feels completely protected and above the law and is absolutely not held accountable. In that sense she is a king.
TVLINE | There are so many things about this family. I wonder what other skeletons are in her closet.
Oh yes, definitely! I think they would have a walk-in closet full of skeletons. I know of smaller versions of this family that are beyond the law, and every time someone is caught as a child for shoplifting, drugs, or loud behavior, they are constantly being rescued. The experiments in pampering themselves keep getting bigger. It definitely happens.
TVLINE | You have made all kinds of characters over the course of your career, but what are you looking for when you are contemplating a new role? And does that change depending on whether it's a movie or a series?
I think my criteria have always been: if the part is fun, if you work with people who excite you, who the director is, why does the director want to do that. The problem with television is that you don't get the script. You don't know what's going to happen. This is a very interesting way of taking photos. But also try to stick to the standard of writing for eight or nine episodes … you never know what you're getting into, so you have to put up with not knowing.
But television is also much more daring than film these days. You don't have to sell to such a wide audience. I don't think Thelma and Louise could be done now. A lot of the things I did if they had to give the go-ahead from a board of directors in a studio might not get done. They homogenize so much these days to appeal to everyone. But then you get Netflix and HBO and Starz – I don't even know all of the platforms, but I've learned a lot since I was banned!
TVLINE | Don't we all! What did you catch up?
I have a projector so I saw all of the Mad Men I'd never seen and went back to Twin Peaks which is amazing too. Talk about something daring in its day! I look back now and it was crazy! So I canceled those shows that I really didn't have time for. Peaky Blinders! Helen McCrory … I felt like a p-ssy seeing what she was doing. She was incredibly strong! Oh! I can destroy you Unbelievable what [Michaela Coel] did. I can't praise this enough the way it was filmed and written. It was so unexpected!