Susan Sarandon on Catholicism: ‘The Church Let Me Down’

Actress won an Oscar for playing a nun in “Dead Man Walking”

Oscar winner Susan Sarandon has opened up about her early struggles with faith in the Catholic Church.

“From the very beginning, [being Catholic] sets you off in a certain direction. Later the church let me down,” Sarandon told Interview Magazine. “I always had a problem with original sin. I always had a problem with the exclusivity of the church and a lot of the things that the nuns taught me.”

She went on to say that by the time she attended the Catholic University of America and immersed herself more in studying the Bible, she lost her faith.

“That’s why it was so interesting to find myself back with Sister Helen [in ‘Dead Man Walking’], this new breed of nuns who were making a difference in the community,” she said. Sarandon won an Oscar for that role, which saw her counseling a death row inmate (Sean Penn) before his execution.

Sarandon also said that she was largely motivated to pray out of fear as a child, as the Cold War was raging and everyone in America was worried about a Communist invasion.

“I had these rosary beads that I would sleep with every night, and I just wanted the blessed Virgin to be on my side,” she said. “Then one night I looked down and my rosary beads were glowing. And I realized that I did not want to see the blessed Virgin. I was terrified.”

Sarandon, an outspoken supporter of liberal politics, recently commented on the 2016 presidential race, in which she is supporting Bernie Sanders.

“I think Bernie would probably encourage people to [support Hillary if he loses] because he doesn’t have any ego in this thing,” she said. “But I think a lot of people are, ‘Sorry, I just can’t bring myself to [vote for Hillary].'”

When host Chris Hayes asked directly whom she will vote for if Sanders gets knocked out, she replied: “I don’t know. I’m going to see what happens,” much to Hayes’ shock.

“Really?” he marveled.

“Really,” was the steadfast response.

“I talk to people who want to — I talk to Republicans who have written him [Sanders] in already. You know, and they just feel like she’s not authentic. She’s a liar, that they don’t trust her so what difference does it make,” Sarandon explained.

“You know, if you’re a small farmer and worried about fracking on your property, in Idaho they just passed a bill where they can frack on private land — and you know she’s taken money from fracking. Why would you think that she’s going to have your back?”