Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Barry Wechter

The concept of volunteerism is something she has passed down to her children as well.

Sarandon admits, “The only thing that ever frightened me about having kids was this idea that those who were really privileged did not have passion. I don’t know how you help someone who is not interested in anything. Thank God mine are all interested!” While she has not pushed her causes, her children have become “very considerate, compassionate people who are figuring it out,” she says.

The entire family shares a common interest in Habitat for Humanity, an organization that helps build houses for those in need. The Sarandon household also has a compulsory rite of passage that has translated into helping others. “We have a tradition in our house that each child has to do something to mark the passage into womanhood or manhood that is positive and creative.” Son Jack enlisted the help of his basketball team and built a house for Habitat, while Eva worked on a nursery at a shelter located in the Bronx.

Travel for pleasure is also on Sarandon’s agenda. She plans to visit picturesque Machu Picchu this spring for the first time and to return to her roots in Italy (she is part Italian on her mother’s side). While return sojourns to Bali and Kyoto are on her wish list, she says, “I have all the requests for film festivals that I have been saving for my old age” for future trips as well.

Bull Durham
orion/courtesy everett collection
Most evenings you can find the energetic actress spending time with her latest passion — Ping-Pong. While working with a group of editors for a documentary she was producing, she discovered their love of the game of table tennis. “I found their passion [for the sport] so compelling that we got money together, found a space, and one thing led to another.” The result is SPiN New York, Sarandon’s new business venture that is part bar, part table tennis. Located in the city’s Flatiron District, her favorite feature is the wide window that looks out into the 23rd Street #6 subway station. She particularly loves the sense of community that Spin brings as top players act as trainers, giving lessons to everyone from the novice to the seasoned player, and there are weekly tournaments.

“What we want is for people to see how theatrical the game is,” she excitedly details. While modest on her own level of expertise, she explains there is “a very quick learning curve up to a certain point, and you have to put in the time, which I have not done!” When Sarandon is without a paddle in her hand, she often doubles as a “ball girl,” picking up errant orange balls that, incidentally, match the Ikea sofas.

As she fearlessly enters the next stage of her life, Sarandon is constantly growing, continually honing her voice, and living a life of purpose and passion. “I think your relationship with yourself and with other people — along with your goals — are breathing, living things.” For Sarandon, it’s a life well lived.