By Hilary Weaver. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Twitter.
In the FX series Feud, Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange portray the infamous rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford while filming the 1962 film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. The contentious relationship between Davis and Crawford was largely manufactured by Hollywood executives and other famous Hollywood players, such as famed gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. On her Twitter account Sunday night, Sarandon revealed that she was similarly manipulated into what she said was an erroneously reported feud with her Stepmom co-star Julia Roberts in 1998.
“Press printed that Julia and I hated each other during Stepmom,” Sarandon wrote above a November 1998 Entertainment Weekly piece reading, “Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon go head-to-head.” Sarandon continued in her tweet: “Found out it was my P.R. person creating rumors.”
The EW story that Sarandon tweeted attempted to clear up the rumor about her and Roberts’s made-up feud. In it, Sarandon offered commentary on Hollywood sexism: “If you make a movie with a male star. Everyone assumes you’re f—ing. If it’s a female star, everyone assumes you’re fighting.”
Roberts weighed in: “Actually, Susan and I were kinda hoping that people would say we were f—ing,” she said. “Now that’s delicious cocktail-party fodder. But this? Boring.”
Roberts’s and Sarandon’s alleged feud was completely false, but they did have another parallel to Crawford and Davis. The two actresses were attracted to Stepmom because it revolved around two female leads. As the series Feud portrays, Crawford and Davis were similarly attracted to Baby Jane—a script which offered the rare chance for women to take front and center.
Despite the female-centric storyline, EW reported that both Sarandon and Roberts found the script to be lacking; Sarandon said it “wasn’t very realistic.”
Still, the two had wanted to work together for years. In an interview with Rosie O’Donnell while promoting the film in 1998, Roberts spoke to the talk-show host about her friendship with Sarandon. She said that her close friendship with Sarandon, whose character had to be “particularly nasty” to Roberts in the film, made the film all the more easy to shoot.
“You have that safety net of you know that you’re not gonna hurt somebody’s feelings and they’re not going to take it personally . . . We know each other too well to fall into that trap,” she said.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
More from Vanity Fair: