‘Thelma & Louise’: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis Speak Out on How Film ‘Struck a Nerve’

by Keeli Parkey

“Thelma & Louise” – one of the most popular films about empowering women ever released – is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021.

As part of that celebration, the film’s stars are looking back on their experiences making the movie and how it has been received in the last three decades. Those stars, of course, are Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. Davis played the character of Thelma Dickinson, a housewife with a cruel husband. Sarandon played Louise Sawyer, a waitress who is dating a musician.

The two women are friends and plan to take a brief break from the stresses of their lives by going on a fishing trip. However, things go terribly wrong for them when a man attempts to rape Thelma. Louise intervenes and prevents the rape by threatening him with a gun. However, Louise does shoot him.

They flee the scene and come to believe they will be charged with murder. Because of this, they choose to flee to Mexico and continue their lives there. What follows is a wild ride. You will just have to watch the movie to find out how things end for the film’s protagonists.

Geena Davis Said She Was Suprised to See Film ‘Explode’

According to Geena Davis, the script for “Thelma & Louise” impressed her. “It was the strongest reaction I’ve ever had to a script!” she told Closer Weekly.

In fact, even though she believed in the script, Davis had no idea just how popular the film would become and how people would respond to the story. The film really struck a chord with many people, she said.

“None of us had any idea it would strike a nerve. We thought it would be a small movie, but it never occurred to us it could explode like that,” Davis also said.

Getting to work with Susan Sarandon in “Thelma & Louise” was also memorable for Geena Davis. The two actresses remained friends after filming the beloved movie.

“It was a magical experience. I think my favorite moments were just hanging around with Susan. She said to me once, ‘See how fun it is to work with women?’ I had to agree,” Davis said.

You can watch the trailer for “Thelma & Louise” below.

‘Thelma & Louise’ Became a Big Hit With Fans and Critics

“Thelma & Louise” was a major hit when it was released. It made $45 million at the box office. In addition to being a financial success, it was also a critical hit. Both Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon received Academy Award nominations for their work in the film.

There was, however, some backlash surrounding “Thelma & Louise.”

“I completely underestimated that we were backing into territory held by white heterosexual males. They got offended and accused us of glorifying murder and suicide and all kinds of things,” Sarandon said.

Even so, there were those who approved of the film. One of those was famous critic Roger Ebert. He gave “Thelma & Louise” 3.5 out of 4 stars.

In his review of the film, he wrote: “This film shows a great sympathy for human comedy, however, and it’s intriguing the way he helps us to understand what’s going on inside the hearts of these two women – why they need to do what they do.”