Susan Sarandon Explains Bette Davis And Joan Crawford’s Bitter Rivalry

Ryan Murphy’s newest anthology series Feud premieres on FX Sunday, March 5, so on Thursday night co-leading lady Susan Sarandon stopped by The Tonight Show to chat with Jimmy Fallon about her role as Bette Davis, opposite Jessica Lange’s Joan Crawford. For those who aren’t already familiar with the infamous feud between the aging Hollywood starlets that led to the two starring in the 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, and the bitter rivalry that followed with its reception, Sarandon gave a quick explainer.

“There were a lot of people who pitted them against each other for a lot of reasons,” Sarandon explained. “They had kind of innate jealousies and things, and you know they want to keep women apart because together we’re just so powerful,” she said, to a round of applause from the audience. Other contributing factors included the two women sleeping with a lot of the same men and having different styles, but Sarandon says the whole thing really culminated when Bette Davis was nominated for an Academy Award but Joan Crawford was not.

Of course, you have to remember that this was back in the ’60s, and today… Well, things have actually not really changed much, as Hollywood still loves to pit women against one another. Look no further than the decade-long tabloid-contrived feud between Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston to that affect.