Jane Fonda has had a long career in both movies and activism, but there was a time she was ready to give up one for the other. In a new profile with The Hollywood Reporter, Fonda recalls being encouraged by fellow activists in the ’70s to put more focus on her film career—in service of the cause.
The actor explains that civil rights activist Ken Cockrel was the one who talked her out of quitting Hollywood. “He said, ‘Fonda, we have a lot of organizers. We don’t have movie stars in the movement,’” she shares. “‘You not only should not quit, you should pay more attention to your career. Be more intentional about your movies and what you make.’ ”
As we know, Fonda stuck it out and ultimately formed a production company, where she produced films like Vietnam war flick Coming Home, the anti-sexism classic 9 To 5, and The China Syndrome, about the nuclear power industry. But these days, she doesn’t have any more message-movies in her, at least not as a producer: “I never could get anything made quickly,” she tells THR. “The fastest was Coming Home, which I think was five and a half years. I don’t have that kind of time now.”
And she’s still having the debate about whether she should drop acting for good, though it sounds like she ultimately ends up reaching the same conclusion. “I recently thought, ‘Maybe I do want to quit acting.’ I mean, I’m 85. But then I realized, my platform matters. It brings people in that might not come in normally.”
Ring Video Doorbell (Wired)
Two-way talk function
No need to leave the couch to answer the door anymore. Just pull out your phone and check the Ring app to see who’s there via the 1080p camera.
As Fonda said, “One feeds the other.” Her activism work taught her to become a feminist after a childhood of internalizing misogyny, and now she makes film and television that celebrates women and their relationships. “By opening myself to feminism and to women’s friendships, I’ve become a much healthier person,” she says. “It’s taught me to not be afraid of vulnerability, not be afraid to ask for help, even though it’s really hard for me to do that.”