Interviewed on Radio 4's Desert island Discs, Robbins said his midlife crisis happened during the "insanity" which followed the collapse of his film project.
"I asked myself the question, "What is it that will make you happy?
Then I thought, 'How about Songs of Love and Misery?
' In the programme, which is broadcast today, Kirsty Young, the presenter, asked Robbins if he still hoped to find love "post midlife crisis", to which he replied: "Let's hope it's out there". I don't believe you are free if you are measured and careful in what you say because you feel that will make you richer or more famous. They tried to ban us for a long time, but within two years we were back because we were nominated." Robbins told Young that he took up acting as a teenager "out of precociousness and a desperate need to get women's attention" and also spoke of the cut-throat nature of the Hollywood film industry.
Robbins, an outspoken political activist, also spoke of his disappointment at the growing "slavery" of Hollywood stars to the entertainment industry, where he said actors were increasingly afraid of the risks in speaking out on social and political issues. I think there's a slavery in that." Robbins also described how the industry attempted to ostracise him and Sarandon following the 1993 Oscars ceremony, where the couple sparked controversy by appearing on stage and demanding that President Clinton shut down an internment camp for HIV-positive Haitian refugees in Cuba. He said: "You're only ever as good as your last box office receipt.
You're staring some kind of frightening thing down.
It's when you pass 40, inherently we double our age when we think about life. You start thinking about how many years you've got left, and you start thinking, 'What the hell am I doing here?
'" Robbins said that the experience encouraged him to write an album of songs which he is set to release later this year.He said: "I was thinking about calling it 'The Mid-life crisis Album', but then I thought that's not going to sell any copies.The Oscar-winning star of The Shawshank Redemption and Mystic River said that the collpase of a film project made him appreciate how little time he had left and made him think about what he wanted to achieve before he died.Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford was widely considered to be experiencing a similar crisis when, following his 60th birthday eight years ago, he divorced his wife of more than 20 years, started wearing an earring, visiting nightclubs and dating younger actress Calista Flockhart.Robbins and Sarandon, who is 12 years his senior, separated last year after a 23-year relationship that was considered to be one of Hollywood's most enduring partnerships.The couple never married but have two sons together.