Shawshank Inspires Real-life Prisoners
TIM ROBBINS is given a hero's welcome when he meets criminals in jail - because his uplifting prison drama THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION has gained him a mass following among inmates behind bars.
The Hollywood star is part of the Actors' Gang rehabilitation project which aims to help convicts in California develop stage skills while serving their sentence.
And he was surprised to learn his turn as jailed banker Andy Dufresne in the multi-Oscar nominated 1994 movie is an inspiration to real-life prisoners - with many insisting the film made them vow to turn their back on a life of crime.
Robbins says, "People say it's turned their life around, it's allowed them a vocabulary that made it easier to avoid violence as an option. Some tell me that for the first time they were able to talk to their children on visits. They found emotions inside them that they were able to express more freely."