Susan Sarandon plays Helen Sterling, a veteran nurse, who will stop at nothing to get her kidnapped adult son back in the first trailer for Viper Club. The film is intertwined with politics and the frantic feeling of losing a child along with a feeling of being helpless. Sarandon has said that part of the movie is about letting kids do, “what they need to do even if it is risky.” Sarandon’s son in the movie is a war correspondent on foreign assignment, who is taken hostage by a terrorist organization in the Middle East.
In the trailer for Viper Club, Susan Sarandon isn’t allowed to talk about what happened to her son Andy, as advised by the FBI and the United States government, who aren’t offering to help her either. She later discovers a secret underground community of journalists, advocates, colleagues of Andy’s, and philanthropists who offer her help to raise money to pay an incredible ransom to get her son back alive. However, paying off a terrorist organization is illegal, which could put her in the crosshairs of the U.S. government.
Andy Sterling’s life was sheltered, which is why he feels the intense need of independence in Viper Club. His mother created an insular life for him, which she revisits throughout the film. Sarandon’s Helen character wonders if her parenting style could have prevented the kidnapping from happening had she allowed independence earlier. Sarandon’s co-star Matt Bomer had this to say about the parenting aspect of Viper Club.
“For me what really resonated were the themes about parenting, and the particular challenges of parenting, how complicated a relationship with your child is, and what you wish you could redo. It’s about all of the little things you look back on, things you wish you could change, things you wouldn’t change for all the money in the world, and just how strong you have to be to, to really be a loving and supportive parent.”
The realism of Viper Club was important for director Maryam Keshavarz. She wanted to tell a story where the action focused on the realistic and complex decisions faced by ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. That feeling is evident in the trailer for the movie as you see Susan Sarandon’s Helen character trying to sleep at work and go about her day as if her adult son had never been kidnapped by a terrorist organization. Keshavarz explains.
“We wanted to explore what are the kind of actions you can take if you don’t have money and resources. It’s symptomatic of what a lot of working class people experience when they look at health insurance, or unemployment: you feel abandoned, or a nuisance just by trying to literally survive. Helen’s case is extreme, but you can extrapolate that same feeling.”
Viper Club is directed by Maryam Keshavarz from a screenplay that she co-wrote with Jonathan Mastro. In addition to Susan Sarandon, the film also stars Matt Bomer, Lola Kirke, Julian Morris, Shelia Vand, Adepero Oduye, and Edie Falco. Viper Club opens in select theaters on October 26th, but you can check out the first trailer below, thanks to the YouTube Originals channel.