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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, August 05, 2017 1:00 am

Sarandon takes turn getting fixed in 'Donovan'

'Outsider' plays high-powered studio executive

George Dickie | Zap2it

Ask Susan Sarandon whether she modeled her “Ray Donovan” character of Machiavellian studio head Samantha Winslow after anyone in particular, and the newest member of the cast of the acclaimed Showtime series will likely respond with a hearty laugh.

“Oh my God, if I knew anyone like this I would definitely turn them in ...,” the Oscar-winning actress exclaims. “She might be closer to some of the men who headed studios back in the old days when there were really strong personalities and not corporate people developing studios. ... She takes what she wants (and) feels life is too short to be asking for a promotion.”

Season 5 of the drama series about Los Angeles' best professional fixer kicks off Sunday and finds Ray (Liev Schreiber) turning his attention back to Hollywood and his celebrity fixer firm. One of his clients is Sarandon's character, who seeks his services after being blackmailed.

Elsewhere, Mickey (Jon Voight) is overjoyed at finally being invited into Ray's home, so much so that he vows to correct his criminal ways. Others returning include Paula Malcolmson, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok and Steven Bauer with new additions Brian White (“Chicago Fire”), Rhys Coiro (“Entourage”), Adina Porter (“American Horror Story”) and C. Thomas Howell (“Criminal Minds”).

In Sam, Sarandon brings to the small screen an ambitious loner who worked her way up from the bottom and made all the right moves, including marrying an Oscar-winning director, which also made her the target of much resentment. She can be tough but she knows what she wants, knows how to get things done and she can do it without too much conflict.

In her research of women executives in Hollywood, she found that that's what the successful ones do.

“As a woman, we're taught to facilitate with egos kind of on the side,” explains Sarandon, who recently bagged her fifth Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Bette Davis in FX's “Feud.” “We try to make people comfortable. We can anticipate needs. We can be tough but at the same time not make it a power struggle, at least that's what I've seen. So I think she has those talents.”