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New York Brand: 'Rescue Me'

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Denis Leary needed an older woman to play the love interest opposite the raucous ladies’ man Daniel Sunjata on his FX firefighting drama, Rescue Me. So who did he cast? Susan Sarandon, naturally—the longtime seducer of younger men in films like Bull Durham, White Palace, and Alfie. “Plus I’d already made out with Daniel in another movie, so I was ready to go,” Sarandon says. She starts a four-episode arc on June 6, joining a proud parade of movie stars—Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Ben Stiller—who’ve made extended cameos on high-quality cable shows. And she hardly minded working on a set that was like, well, a firehouse—tightly knit and dominated by guys. “The set had a very male point of view, but I like that,” she says. Not surprisingly, she more than held her own; for one, she knows about sports. “All the guys love her,” says Leary. “She’s just gorgeous and a huge hockey fan. We were shooting during the Rangers’ run through the playoffs, so we just talked hockey in between shots.” And she knows a bit about acting too. “Her first day, she turned this long monologue into gold—it was a little disconcerting,” Leary says. “As for me, my lines are always the last thing that go into my head. So pretty soon I’m getting corrected by Susan, and all I can say is, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re right—I wrote that.’ ”


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