For Susan Sarandon, there was little hesitation about exploring her grandmother Anita's past on Who Do You Think You Are?
Although the episode reveals details that could be hard for Sarandon's family members to swallow, the 63-year-old Oscar winner, tells TVGuide.com she had to find answers about her grandmother, who mysteriously abandoned Sarandon's mother when she was only 2 years old. "I had tried years before to track Anita down, so it was a small price to pay that people were discovering it as I was discovering it," she says.
Sarandon's search takes her to Italy, and what she discovers — that her grandmother lived a happy life before dying — was a relief. "It was amazing that such a difficult beginning survived and eventually managed to have a stable last 35 years with someone she adored," she says.
Through the experience, Sarandon learned of her own similarities to her grandmother. Sarandon says she has her grandmother's tenacity and curiosity, and she says that the two shared a physical resemblance.
Sarandon says perhaps the greatest thing she will take away from this journey is the peace of mind the new information gave her mother. "It was a relief that she hadn't had any other children — I think that was something that would've really disturbed my mother," she says. "We had vague notions of early beginnings on that side of the family, but it was nice to finally have some sense of closure of what had happened to her."
Sarandon's episode airs Friday at 8/7c on NBC. Watch a preview here.