Special Interview with Jane Fonda
The one-time sex symbol (Barbarella was one of the most erotic films of the sixties) turned ardent feminist, the two-time Oscar winner (for Klute and Coming Home) was once as famous for her workout videos as she was for her of political and humanitarian causes and her acting.
Now 77, Jane Fonda continues her rolls as an actress in different projects and is also a campaign spokesperson for world renowned beauty and cosmetics brand, and while making the rounds at Cannes she quipped: "I am the oldest living skincare ambassador ever - they just keep hiring me."
Aging beautifully is on the agenda and that is also thanks to Jane Fonda.
How do you handle aging?
I have always remained very physically active. You need to look after your body and your health and if you do that your mind can lead you to do all the things you've enjoyed doing throughout your life. You don't have to accept any limits beyond what your body allows you to do. I've had hip and knee replacements but I can still do a pretty intensive workout. It's important to stay fit.
You retired from acting when you married Ted Turner. Now you're working regularly again. Does that surprise you?
I'm surprised I'm still getting opportunities because for women once you reached forty or fifty it's very difficult to find work. But I had ten great years with Ted Turner even if some people think of me as a trophy wife. The truth, though, is that we had an amazing marriage and a very good time together. We were madly in love with each other and he was very supportive and helped restore a lot of my self-confidence. I had lost my desire to work and I would have quit acting anyway even if I hadn't married Ted.
You then made a comeback at age 65?
Yes. When I got divorced (from Turner) I was 63 and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. But going back to acting after I had been out of the business for 15 years is something I regard as a major accomplishment for me. It was a miracle. I had originally stopped acting because I was very unhappy in my life and work held no interest or thrill for me anymore. Today I feel very differently and I'm happy to be working more than I ever thought would be possible.
You look fabulous these days. What's your secret?
Thank you! It's not a secret formula. I make sure I get 8 or 9 hours sleep every night. I try to stay out of the sun to protect my skin. I work out almost every day and I eat the healthiest, organic food I can find.
Do you think women age better or worse than men?
I think the perception of men as they get older is vastly different from the way women are perceived. Men are seen as becoming elegant and even more desirable especially if they are wealthy or occupy positions of power.
Whereas women are seen as having lost their beauty and attractiveness and it's as if we become devalued because it's only our beauty that defines us. That's what puts all this terrible pressure on women to look as young as possible because society values youth and particularly so when it comes to women. It's not fair, but that's the way it is.
Do you feel that you're enjoying the best years of your life?
I'm not sure. I'm certainly much more confident and happier than I've been in many years. I know I've figured out so many things about who I am and managed to become more secure in my own identity. Those are all very important things that I've been able to achieve later in life. I've never lost sight of the fact that my mother committed suicide at age 42, so I'm grateful to still be alive and healthy and that destiny has taken me this far in life.
How do you feel these days?
I'm very happy, a lot happier than I was when I was making some very good movies and I was one of the top actresses in the business. I've had a good time working on Broadcast News and now I've been playing in a new series, Grace and Frankie, which is another minor miracle! (Laughs)