Sarandon to play anti-war mom

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Susan Sarandon, the film star who is known almost as much for her leftist political views as for her acting, is reportedly in talks to portray Cindy Sheehan in a forthcoming biopic about the Californian mother who became an icon of the anti-war effort in the US after losing her son in Iraq.

Ms Sheehan, who joined protests on the third anniversary of the war at the weekend, is thought to have met Ms Sarandon in New York yesterday to discuss the project.

Ms Sheehan is already the subject of Peace Mom, a one-woman monologue play in London, and is close to delivering a memoir to her publisher.

Ms Sarandon and her acting husband, Tim Robbins, have long worn their political views on their sleeves. In 1993 they used the Oscar awards to highlight HIV-infected Haitian refugees held at Guantanamo Bay. Ms Sarandon, 59, won an Oscar for Best Actress in 1996 for her role as a nun campaigning against the death penalty in Dead Man Walking.

The news follows a Newsweek poll that found just 29 per cent of Americans approved of US policy in Iraq, down from 69 per cent after the conflict began in March 2003.

But public sentiment towards Ms Sheehan has also shifted. She was admired when she set up camp last August outside President George Bush's Texas ranch demanding a meeting with him. Increasingly, however, Ms Sheehan is being criticised for overplaying her role. She recently called Mr Bush "The Führer", and suggested that mothers who have lost loved ones in Iraq without turning against the war are "brainwashed".