With … Tim Robbins: ‘Hollywood Is Changing,’ Says Its Veteran Activist, Tim Robbins

Mr. Robbins is keen about politics however protests that he’s not a radical.

He does cop to driving in Santa Monica a few years in the past together with his older son, Jack, when he was about 12, and when Mr. Robbins noticed Henry Kissinger popping out of the luxurious Ivy on the Shore restaurant, he leaned out and yelled, “War criminal!”

“And my son was like, ‘What? What? Why are you doing that?’”

He doesn’t remorse talking out in opposition to our misguided wars, regardless that, through the Iraq fiasco, he acquired denounced by conservatives as a “terrorist supporter” and a “Saddam lover.”

“My children were young when 9/11 happened, and that was a traumatic experience,” he says. “And they saw how a traumatic experience was turned into using manipulated information to produce another catastrophe, which was the war. So it’s kind of a double trauma. And I don’t think they trust the institutions of power and so they’re looking to create their own. Many of our leaders are no longer on moral high ground. The millennials are living in a society where if you fail you succeed, from the bankers who almost brought down the economy and then got bonuses to Trump and his bankruptcies. It started with Nixon. The degradation of it all. Wouldn’t we be living in a different country right now if Richard Nixon went to jail?”

He laughs, noting wryly that “the millennial midlife crisis will be one for the ages.”

He avidly supported Bernie Sanders within the main earlier than switching to Hillary Clinton within the normal. (His ex Susan Sarandon, additionally an unbiased spirit, acquired heckled by Hillary supporters for refusing to help Mrs. Clinton; she mentioned, “I don’t vote with my vagina,” after which switched to Jill Stein after Mr. Sanders was out.)

“I think the Democratic Party is making a huge mistake right now, trying to caustically marginalize those people that voted for Bernie, because they’re not going to be shamed,” Mr. Robbins says.

When he began his profession, Mr. Robbins acquired supplied lots of roles as psycho killers. Then got here “The Player.” Now, at 59, he says that “most of the parts I get offered are middle-aged dudes having existential crises.”

He’s depicting one other in Alan Ball’s new HBO collection, “Here and Now,” which has its premiere on Feb. 11. Mr. Robbins’s character is a depressed philosophy professor named Greg Boatwright who performs Candy Crush and cheats on his spouse, performed by Holly Hunter, with a younger hooker. In addition to their organic daughter, the couple, who met at Berkeley, has the “great experiment” of three adopted youngsters (black, Asian and Hispanic), now grown.

The present facilities on the dynamics of getting this pocket of progressivism in Portland, Ore., when white supremacy teams are lurking proper outdoors of city. Mr. Robbins’s gloomy character sees “ignorance, hatred, terror and rage” profitable, which makes his spouse yearn to “smack him in the face with a big, wet fish.”

Mr. Robbins has additionally been engaged on a memoir about rising up in a one-bedroom railroad residence with a canine, two cats, a rabbit and his people singing household — his father, Gil, was a guitarist and songwriter with the Highwaymen — and assembly lots of “crazy creative geniuses” in Greenwich Village. (Mr. Robbins lived close by in Chelsea throughout his lengthy relationship with Ms. Sarandon.)

“My dad’s way of dealing with his depression was to build something, a harpsichord or cabinets or a loom,” he says. “I still have some of the things from his weaving period.”

Photo
Inmates on the California Rehabilitation Center take part within the Actors’ Gang Prison Project, a workshop in improvisational theater led by Mr. Robbins in 2011.

Credit
Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Mr. Robbins says he’s “super-proud” of his youngsters. Ms. Sarandon’s daughter with Franco Amurri, Eva — Mr. Robbins refers to Eva as his daughter — has two youngsters and writes a parenting weblog referred to as “Happily Eva After.”

Mr. Robbins has been producing brief movies for his oldest son, Jack, who acquired into Sundance final 12 months and this 12 months. And his youthful son, Miles, is occurring tour together with his band and has roles within the upcoming “X Files” and “Halloween” motion pictures.

Perhaps as a result of he acquired used to sporting the garter belt of Ms. Sarandon’s character in “Bull Durham,” Mr. Robbins was not bothered by Miles’s op-ed in HuffPost speaking about how, regardless that he’s “mostly heterosexual” — he has kissed just a few males — he likes to put on attire on stage generally or to events.

“He’s a showman,” mentioned his father, including that he himself wouldn’t do it as a result of “You’ve got to have nice legs for that.”

He remains to be very personal about his two-decade romance with Ms. Sarandon, noting that accounts of stars’ private lives are inevitably “artificial or manufactured because when you’re promoting a movie, you’re trying to tell people what they want to hear. And they’re operating in stereotypes from the past — younger man, older woman, whatever it is — different perceptions that have nothing to do with reality.”

After courting for years, he says, “I’m with someone right now that I’ve been with for a while. I like my life right now.”

He lives in Venice, Calif., in an enthralling home, the place he has enjoyable artwork events and writes poetry and music and performs and screenplays. (His newest, “The Heretic,” is a few trio of Jesuses, certainly one of whom will get waterboarded as a result of his message of affection is simply too radical for Christian consumption.)

He remains to be busy with the Actors’ Gang, which he based in 1981. Through the Actors’ Gang Prison Project, Mr. Robbins, who starred in “The Shawshank Redemption,” has had some success during the last decade in renewing curiosity and funding for arts applications in California prisons, which he believes may also help change the conduct of criminals and educate social abilities. Former Attorney General Eric Holder was a robust supporter, given the hovering incarceration charges, and Mr. Robbins says his jail performs, mingling black gang members and white supremacists, needs to be a bipartisan mission. He says he would meet with Jeff Sessions, if Mr. Sessions have been keen. He’s doing a documentary on the mission.

The newest manufacturing of the Actors’ Gang, “The New Colossus,” opens on Feb. eight, with 12 actors from 12 totally different elements of the world reminiscing about or taking part in their ancestors of their journeys from oppression to freedom.

“All of our ancestors are related in a common desire,” Mr. Robbins says. “The tribalism, dividing us by race, is not who we are. It’s being manipulated for an economic cause. One night we had people from all over the world in our little hundred-seat theater and I was like, ‘This is America right here in this room.’ And it was so powerful. The division that’s happening now is all an illusion.”

MORE: Tim Robbins names his superstar doppelgänger in a spherical of Confirm or Deny.

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