Thelma and Louise are back together for one night only!
Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis reunited on Friday, June 18, for a Cinespia charity event at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, along with the iconic original 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible from the classic film “Thelma & Louise.”
The 1991 movie may have debuted 30 years ago, but the impact it made on Sarandon, Davis and Callie Khouri, the film’s writer, has been everlasting. The two actors donned coordinating t-shirts for the occasion with Sarandon rocking a “She’s My Thelma & I’m Her Louise” shirt while Davis’ read “I’m Her Thelma & She’s My Louise.”
The trio of women spent the night out at Griffith Park reminiscing on the film, taking the opportunity to dish about behind-the-scenes moments during a pre-show Q&A before a screening of the classic fittingly at a drive-in movie theater. In one moment during the night, Sarandon, 74, recalled filming some of the unforgettable driving sequences in the turquoise convertible.
“It was really fun, especially in the desert,” Sarandon said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “What I learned is that you do your best acting when you’re really just trying to drive a car and you’re not thinking about anything and getting the shots lined up. I was driving pretty fast by the time we finished the movie.”
Later in the Q&A, Sarandon took a moment to discuss the film's reception at the time, saying, "I thought this was a cowboy (movie) with women and trucks and it’s going to be a lot of fun, Ridley is a great director and it’s a fun script."
“I completely underestimated that we were backing into territory held by white heterosexual males,” she continued. “They got offended and accused us of glorifying murder and suicide and all kids of things. It didn’t seem like a big deal, it seemed like it was unusual that there would be a woman that you could be friends with in a film. Normally, if there were two women in a film, you automatically hated each other for some reason. … Next thing we knew, all hell broke loose.”
Davis, 65, recalled how 30 years ago, the press had thought that this was going to open doors for more opportunities for female-driven films moving forward.
“I’m thinking, hot dog, let’s sit back and wait for all this magic change to happen,” Davis said. “We’re still waiting. It really did not happen. It seems like every five years or so, there’s another movie starring women that’s a huge hit and people say, ‘Well now certainly everything is going to change,’ and it really hasn’t.”
While the film may not have had as large of an influence on the industry, Davis’ role as one of the titular characters, Thelma Dickinson, made a lasting impact on her career decisions moving forward.
“It made me realize how few opportunities we give women to come out of a movie feeling empowered by the female characters. Men get that every movie they watch,” Davis said. “It made me really think about what women in the audience are going to think about my character from now on and led me to want to play parts where I could feel good about the choices the character makes. I turned down parts based on that thinking for sure.”
Friday night wasn’t the first reunion for Davis and Sarandon. In January 2020, the two actors got together at the Museum of Modern Art’s Women In Motion screening of the film that earned both women Oscar nominations for best actress.
Earlier this month, Sarandon took the opportunity ahead of the official 30-year reunion to reveal the back story behind one of the movie’s most memorable scenes where Thelma and Louise share a kiss before they hold hands and (spoiler alert) drive their Thunderbird over the Grand Canyon.
This kiss ended up being an impromptu decision made by Sarandon on set while filming the end scene of the movie.
“It happened at the very end of the day. You know, the helicopter coming in, the police cars arriving, Harvey running, everything else, so it was basically like a stunt. We had one take,” Sarandon said in an interview with ET. “I just said to (director) Ridley (Scott) and to Geena, ‘You know, I’d really like to kiss you.’ And so, that’s what we did. One take, one juicy, romantic take.”