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Sarandon Named 'Woman of The Year'

By Nicole Columbus

In spite of the cold February weather, crowds of hundreds gather every year in Harvard Square to watch the Hasty Pudding Theatricals' parade for the 'Woman of the Year.'

This year, film actor Susan Sarandon, a four-time Academy Award nominee, was feted in yesterday's ceremonies, celebrating the 45th annual presentation of the "Pudding Pot" to a woman who has distinguished herself in the field of entertainment.

The Pudding's all-male cast, clad in high heels, dresses and wigs, shivered and jogged in place, as they tried to warm themselves while they waited for the parade to begin. But they were no match for the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" performers clustered a few yards away, in full costume. "We've been out-freaked," one Pudding actor joked.

Susan Sarandon sat in the back of a red Jaguar convertible, between Hasty Pudding Theatricals President Andrew G. Taylor '96, who was resplendent in purple, and Vice-President Andrew A. Burlinson '97, who sported a Cleopatra wig. Sarandon smiled and waved to the throngs on the street and the on-lookers leaning out of apartment windows.

The Harvard-Radcliffe Marching Band, juggling cows, a bagpiper and a llama were among the other participants in the half-hour parade, which started at the Inn at Harvard continued down Mass. Ave., then along Dunster St. and finally ended up at the Hasty Pudding Theater.

The actor entered the theater to the Pudding band's rendition of "The Time Warp," from "Rocky Horror." Taylor and Burlinson introduced Sarandon, noting such career highlights as her appearance on "Sesame Street," in which she "got serious with the letter 'D' and the number '3.'"

Once on stage, Sarandon was roasted by Taylor and Burlinson--now clad in tuxedos--before she was presented with the golden Pudding Pot.

The officers argued over whether Sarandon played Thelma or Louise, while the actor pretended to be similarly confused.

Then, in honor of her baseball-loving character in "Bull Durham," the officers handed her a bat and Burlinson prepared to pitch her the ball. The bat, little more than a long stick, prompted Sarandon to note: "This looks like Michelle Pfeiffer's whip!"

"Fortunately, at Harvard, we believe in another thing," Burlinson stated. "Grade inflation!" The Vice-President then handed Sarandon a larger bat and ball, and she hit the ball into the cheering audience.

Taylor and Burlinson next told Sarandon that "to truly be a part of the Pudding, you have to party with us."

Sarandon interrupted, saying, "Are you offering me drugs or something?"

The officers explained that they merely wanted to show her some dance moves, and proceeded to "teach" Sarandon the "Time Warp" dance from "Rocky Horror." Sarandon enthusiastically joined in, only forgetting a few steps, as the audience clapped to the music.

After receiving her Pudding Pot, Sarandon said, "I think that this has exorcised every last bit of nun out of me," referring to her role as Sister Prejean in the current film "Dead Man Walking." She then returned to her seat to watch three musical numbers from this year's Hasty Pudding show "Morocco 'Round the Clock."

At the press conference which followed upstairs, Sarandon was asked where she would place the gleaming Pudding Pot. "I have a very important room in the house, the bathroom...which is where all the awards go," she joked.

She said that, "having come of age in the 'Rocky Horror' show," she was not too shocked by the Pudding Theatricals numbers. "I felt a certain bond with the whole drag aspect of the show," she said. She added that she was happy to know that the leaders of our future are comfortable as women.

When asked to specify her favorite film role, she responded "Bull Durham," explaining that the film came at a time when she wasn't being offered good roles. She thanked Ron Shelton, the director, for restoring her faith in the business.

The actor was not as quick to name her favorite director. "Well, if you expect me to go home...," Sarandon humorously replied, alluding to Tim Robbins, the director of "Dead Man Walking" and the father of her two sons.

While the characters she plays are often described as strong women, Sarandon herself sees them as ordinary people "who become extraordinary at a certain point.... They become strong at great cost."

Sarandon said that she felt that she had gained from her difficult experiences, citing ordeals such as bad romances and a brief institutionalization. "As Hemingway said, 'You're strong in all the broken places,'" she quoted.

Although Sarandon is known for her outspoken political beliefs, politics were hardly mentioned in the press conference. At one point, however, in the middle of a question about issues in the upcoming presidential election, Sarandon broke in, "I'd be surprised if any issues did come up."

Sarandon did discuss questions surrounding violence in the movies, saying that "Thelma and Louise" portrayed violence with moral justification, which is unusual in movies. She also contended that some viewers found the movie upsetting "because it gave women violence as an option."

Sarandon was nominated for her first Oscar for "Atlantic City." She has received three Best Actress nominations in the past four years, for "The Client," "Lorenzo's Oil" and "Thelma and Louise." She has also been mentioned as a possible Best Actress nominee this year for her work in "Dead Man Walking." Those nominations will be announced today

The Harvard-Radcliffe Marching Band, juggling cows, a bagpiper and a llama were among the other participants in the half-hour parade, which started at the Inn at Harvard continued down Mass. Ave., then along Dunster St. and finally ended up at the Hasty Pudding Theater.

The actor entered the theater to the Pudding band's rendition of "The Time Warp," from "Rocky Horror." Taylor and Burlinson introduced Sarandon, noting such career highlights as her appearance on "Sesame Street," in which she "got serious with the letter 'D' and the number '3.'"

Once on stage, Sarandon was roasted by Taylor and Burlinson--now clad in tuxedos--before she was presented with the golden Pudding Pot.

The officers argued over whether Sarandon played Thelma or Louise, while the actor pretended to be similarly confused.

Then, in honor of her baseball-loving character in "Bull Durham," the officers handed her a bat and Burlinson prepared to pitch her the ball. The bat, little more than a long stick, prompted Sarandon to note: "This looks like Michelle Pfeiffer's whip!"

"Fortunately, at Harvard, we believe in another thing," Burlinson stated. "Grade inflation!" The Vice-President then handed Sarandon a larger bat and ball, and she hit the ball into the cheering audience.

Taylor and Burlinson next told Sarandon that "to truly be a part of the Pudding, you have to party with us."

Sarandon interrupted, saying, "Are you offering me drugs or something?"

The officers explained that they merely wanted to show her some dance moves, and proceeded to "teach" Sarandon the "Time Warp" dance from "Rocky Horror." Sarandon enthusiastically joined in, only forgetting a few steps, as the audience clapped to the music.

After receiving her Pudding Pot, Sarandon said, "I think that this has exorcised every last bit of nun out of me," referring to her role as Sister Prejean in the current film "Dead Man Walking." She then returned to her seat to watch three musical numbers from this year's Hasty Pudding show "Morocco 'Round the Clock."

At the press conference which followed upstairs, Sarandon was asked where she would place the gleaming Pudding Pot. "I have a very important room in the house, the bathroom...which is where all the awards go," she joked.

She said that, "having come of age in the 'Rocky Horror' show," she was not too shocked by the Pudding Theatricals numbers. "I felt a certain bond with the whole drag aspect of the show," she said. She added that she was happy to know that the leaders of our future are comfortable as women.

When asked to specify her favorite film role, she responded "Bull Durham," explaining that the film came at a time when she wasn't being offered good roles. She thanked Ron Shelton, the director, for restoring her faith in the business.

The actor was not as quick to name her favorite director. "Well, if you expect me to go home...," Sarandon humorously replied, alluding to Tim Robbins, the director of "Dead Man Walking" and the father of her two sons.

While the characters she plays are often described as strong women, Sarandon herself sees them as ordinary people "who become extraordinary at a certain point.... They become strong at great cost."

Sarandon said that she felt that she had gained from her difficult experiences, citing ordeals such as bad romances and a brief institutionalization. "As Hemingway said, 'You're strong in all the broken places,'" she quoted.

Although Sarandon is known for her outspoken political beliefs, politics were hardly mentioned in the press conference. At one point, however, in the middle of a question about issues in the upcoming presidential election, Sarandon broke in, "I'd be surprised if any issues did come up."

Sarandon did discuss questions surrounding violence in the movies, saying that "Thelma and Louise" portrayed violence with moral justification, which is unusual in movies. She also contended that some viewers found the movie upsetting "because it gave women violence as an option."

Sarandon was nominated for her first Oscar for "Atlantic City." She has received three Best Actress nominations in the past four years, for "The Client," "Lorenzo's Oil" and "Thelma and Louise." She has also been mentioned as a possible Best Actress nominee this year for her work in "Dead Man Walking." Those nominations will be announced today

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