Susan Sarandon revealed that Cher stole the role intended for Sarandon in their classic film “The Witches of Eastwick” — after Cher had a “liaison” with producer Jon Peters.
Sarandon played dowdy teacher Jane in the 1987 movie, with Jack Nicholson as the devil. But in a candid talk with the screenwriter, Michael Cristofer, Sarandon said that she was originally hired to play Cher’s role of sexy sculptress Alex.
“I initially was cast in Cher’s part, and didn’t find out till I got to LA — because I was living in Rome — that I was actually moved to a different part,” she recalled. “I had to learn suddenly to play the cello, and I had never played an instrument in my life. They said they would sue me if I left, so I didn’t have much choice!”
“Cher sort of muscled her way into that part,” Cristofer said. Sarandon replied, “That’s Jon … [He] and Cher had a past liaison or something, so that was another element.”
However, the actresses got along so well that Cher lent her a wig and dress for a scene in which Nicholson seduces her. They also had lunch with Nicholson in his trailer daily.
Sarandon and Cristofer spoke ahead of a fund-raiser for LA’s Project Angel Food, which will throw a “Witches of Eastwick” “home brewing party” Saturday, hosted by Sandra Lee.
Sarandon said that she, Cher and co-star Michelle Pfeiffer bonded to survive the shoot, where Peters threw chairs on the set in a temper and director George Miller quit twice.
“There were a lot of reasons why we could not have gotten along, and everybody took a higher road,” she said.
Sarandon also revealed that she turned down a role in “The First Wives Club,” which she’s never seen, saying: “[It] ended up making a lot of money. It starred all great women, who were getting revenge on their ex-husbands, in the script that I got, by being mean to other women. And I was just like … who needs that, you know? I don’t want to be in something where women are tearing down other women.”
Peters and reps for Cher didn’t comment.
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