“JANE FONDA IN 5 ACTS”

From the “girl next door, to the sex kitten, activist, fitness tycoon,” and eventual Oscar winner, we take a look at the Hollywood icon ahead of the premiere of the HBO documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts.”

The iconic actress, Jane Fonda, will join acclaimed filmmaker , Susan Lacy, in conversation about Jane Fonda’s life and work, and about the making of the documentary at the 92Y September 21 at 7pm. Click here for more information.

Aired on September 20, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> GIRL NEXT DOOR, SEX ICON, POLITICAL ACTIVIST, AND ACADEMY AWARD WITHER JANE FONDA, LIVED A LIFE MARKED BY TRAGEDY, CONTROVERSY.

AND SHE'S DONE MOST OF IN THE PUBLIC EYE.

A NEW HBO DOCUMENTARY.

TAKES AN INTIMATE LOOK AT THE 80-YEAR-OLD ACTRESSES FABLED LIFE.

JANE FONDA.

ONE OF HOLLYWOOD'S MOST EXCITING NEW STARS.

WHEN YOU --

THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF MY LAST ACT.

IN ORDER TO KNOW HOW TO GO FORWARD, I'M GOING TO HAVE TO KNOW WHERE I'VE BEEN.

I WAS HENRY FONDA'S DAUGHTER WHICH MEANT, WE LOOKED LIKE THE AMERICAN DREAM.

A LOT OF IT WAS SIMPLY A MESS.

WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE JANE FONDA, DID YOU DREAM ABOUT BEING AN ACTRESS?

SCREENPLAYS, MOVIES.

I WANTED TO PLEASE DAD.

WHO DID YOU WANT TO BE?

I NEVER FELT REAL.

I JUST THOUGHT, I HAVE TO FIND WHO I REALLY AM.

I JUST FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO BECOME AN ACTIVIST.

I WANTED MY LIFE TO HAVE MEANING.

YOU CAN TAKE YOUR ISSUES PUBLIC.

I'M VERY PROUD OF MOST OF WHAT I DID, AND VERY SORRY FOR SOME OF WHAT I DID.

SUSAN LACY, MANY OF YOU WILL ALSO RECOGNIZE AS THE CREATOR AND FORMER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF THE GROUNDBREAKING PBS SERIES, MASTERPIECE.

EXPLAIN THE DIVISION?

THIS IS INTERESTING.

THE IDEA OF ACTS WAS EMBEDDED IN MY MIND BECAUSE IN HER BOOK SHE SAID I'M WRITING THIS BOOK, I'M RESEARCHING MY LIFE, I DECIDED TO FIND OUT WHO MY PARENTS WERE, WHO THEIR PARENTS WERE, YOU CAN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHY THEY WEREN'T ABLE TO GIVE YOU WHAT YOU NEEDED UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY CAME FROM.

AND WHAT ISSUES THEY WERE DEALINGING WITH.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS SHE SAID IS THAT I'M DOING THIS, BECAUSE I NEED TO UNDERSTAND MY FIRST TWO ACTS IN ORDER TO LIVE MY THIRD.

THE NOTION OF ACTS WAS KIND OF IN MY HEAD.

AND THEN WHEN I WAS IN THE EDIT ROOM AND BEGINNING TO MAKE THIS FILM, I SAID, YOU KNOW, REALLY THERE'S FIVE ACTS.

MANY TIMES IN MAKING THE PORTRAIT, THE THIRD ABILITY IS OFTEN THE PROBLEM.

THE FIRST TWO ACTS ARE WHERE MOST OF THE WORK IS DONE.

THE IMPACT IS HAD, THE LEGACY IS BUILT.

AND THE THIRD ACT IS OFTEN A LITTLE DISAPPOINTING.

JANE'S FIFTH ACT IS ANYTHING BUT.

I THOUGHT, THIS IS REALLY A FIVE ACT STORY WHICH BEGINS WITH HER FATHER.

AND THEN FOLLOWED BY HER THREE HUSBANDS.

RO ROGER BADINE.

TOM HAYDEN, AND HER LAST HUSBAND WAS TED TURNER.

AND IN EACH OF THESE MOMENTS IN HER LIFE WHICH ARE REALLY CHAPTERS.

SHE WILL SAY IT, SHE SPENT HER WHOLE LIFE HOPING TO GET THE LOVE OF HER FATHER.

AND WITH EACH HUSBAND IN ORDER TO BE LOVED.

SHE FELT THAT SHE NEEDED TO BE WHO THEY WANTED HER TO BE.

AND SHE SAYS EARLIER IN THE FILM, HER MOTHER WAS SICK A LOT.

IN MENTAL INSTITUTIONS, AS A CHILD SHE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY SHE WASN'T THERE.

BUT SHE KNEW THAT THAT WASN'T THE WING TEAM.

SHE WANTED TO BE ON THE WING TEAM AND THE WING TEAM WAS THE MAN'S TEAM.

AND THAT IS HOW SHE LIVED HER LIFE, UNTIL SHE WAS 60 SOME YEARS OLD AND SAID, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S TIME FOR JANE TO COME OUT.

I THINK IT'S TIME TO HAVE A FULLY REALIZED JANE.

A WHOLE JANE.

AND SHE LEFT TED --

LET'S TALK ABOUT HER MOMENT IN POLITICS, SHE SAID SHE WAS VERY PROUD ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS VERY SORRY ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS.

I THINK THOSE OF US OF A CERTAIN AGE KNOW WHAT SHE WAS SORRY ABOUT.

THE PICTURE TAKEN IN THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER IN VIETNAM.

TALK ABOUT WHAT SHE WAS PROUD OF?

JANE WENT TO VIETNAM ON HER OWN.

SHE WAS INVITED BY THE NORTH VIETNAMESE, SHE WASN'T THE FIRST AMERICAN TO GO.

BUT BECAUSE SHE'S A CELEBRITY AND A WOMAN, AND SHE MADE THE MISTAKE OF SITTING ON AN ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN THAT HAS STAYED WITH HER HER WHOLE LIFE.

SHE WILL GO TO HER GRAVE REGRETTING THAT.

SHE'S APOLOGIZED FOR THAT.

IT'S NOT LIKE SHE WENT -- SHE WENT BECAUSE SHE WAS A CELEBRITY, SHE WAS ENCOURAGED TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT NIXON AND KISSINGER WERE GOING TO BOMB THE DIKES IN NORTH VIETNAM.

HAD THEY DONE THAT, THAT WOULD HAVE -- DURING THE HARVEST SEASON, IT WOULD HAVE DESTROYED THE RICE CROPS, POTENTIALLY A MILLION PEOPLE COULD HAVE STARVED TO DEATH.

AND IT WOULD HAVE FLOODED THE PLACE.

SHE WENT THERE TO EXPOSE THIS AND FIND OUT WHETHER THEY WERE BOMBING THE DIKES, WHICH THEY WERE, BUT BECAUSE SHE WENT THERE, AND BECAUSE SHE BROUGHT ATTENTION TO THIS, THEY STOPPED BOMBING THE DIKES.

SO SHE WENT THERE TO SAVE LIVES.

SHE WENT THERE TO SUPPORT THE SOLDIERS, SHE WENT THERE TO STOP THE WAR.

AND I THINK SHE HASN'T BEEN GIVEN ENOUGH CREDIT FOR WHAT HER MOVIVES WERE, WHICH WERE COMPLETELY PURE.

SHE MADE SOME MISTAKES WHILE SHE WAS THERE, AND SHE READILY ADMITS THAT.

IT IS A WONDERFUL DOCUMENTARY, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING BACK.

IF ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES.

I LOVED IT.

THE HBO DOCUMENTARY PHIL AM, JANE FONDA, DEBUTS SEPTEMBER 24th ON HBO.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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