It’s been 25 years since Thelma & Louise went sailing over that cliff in their Ford Thunderbird, never to endure the bullshit of another man ever again.
The two stars of the iconic film spoke to Harper’s Bazaar to mark the occasion, and are under no illusions about what became of their characters.
“People ask me, ‘Is there going to be a sequel?’ And I’m like, ‘What the heck do you think happened to them?!'” Geena Davis said.
The film was a giant middle finger to the patriarchy, and the impact of such a hugely popular, female-led film was expected change the game, although Sarandon didn’t consider this when she signed up for the role.
“When we did Thelma & Louise, I really didn’t think it would have the kind of resonance it had. We thought it was fun, and we were cast in the kinds of roles usually played by guys. It wasn’t seen as any feminist statement,” she said.
She saw it as a love story about the friendship of two women. Davis didn't realise it would strike a nerve either, though she was bemused to hear criticism that Thelma & Louise was "man-hating" and "so violent -- and this was after Lethal Weapon came out!"
"One very common theme in the press was, 'This changes everything. Now there are going to be so many female buddy pictures, so many female action figures. This just completely rewrites everything,' and it didn‘t," Davis told Harper's.
"The really short answer is, it didn't do shit."
Davis related a story about how Callie Khouri, the writer of Thelma & Louise, went to a movie studio about three years after the film came out to pitch a film with two female lead roles, but was told, "Oh, no, there's been Thelma & Louise."
"We've been stuck in this world where Hollywood operates under the assumption that women will watch men, but men won't watch women."
The best part of the interview, though, is when we learn that the excellent partnership of their characters translated into a real and true friendship between Sarandon and Davis.
"But the most liberating thing about filming Thelma & Louise was hanging around with Susan. She changed my life. The movie changed my life," Davis said.
"She always gets embarrassed, the way I talk about her. She's so self-possessed—she knows who she is and what she thinks. She moves through the world in such an integrated and beautiful way. I remember telling Susan once, 'I'm never going to be like you. You're always going to be ahead of me. I'm never going to catch up'."