Jane Fonda uses her fame to address “poignant” issues.
The 76-year-old actress has been a longtime activist, publicly supporting the African-American Civil Rights Movement and opposing the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s.
In 2009, Jane starred in Beethoven-inspired play 33 Variations; and she believes gracing the stage at such an old age calls attention to the state of society’s elderly.
“The thing that gets me is that well-to-do people see the theatre. I want to use my craft to communicate things I think are important,” she explained to Deadline.
Jane is also expanding others’ awareness of the elderly with her new Netflix series Grace and Frankie. She and 9 to 5 co-star Lily Tomlin reunite in the dramedy that centres on two women who hate each other, but are forced to be cordial after their husbands fall in love with each other and plan a gay marriage.
“Television is the way to do it, and the reason I’m so excited about this show with Lily is that for years I have wanted to give a cultural face to women aging - to show the beauty of it, the joys of it, the scariness of it,” Jane detailed. “We older women are the fastest-growing demographic in the world. I don’t want to just do a sitcom; I want to do something poignant that’s real.”
The actress explains Grace and Frankie will be presenting meaty plotlines related to old age.
“She is an old hippie, and I am really straight,” she said of her and longtime friend Lily’s characters. “I mean, I’ll do my martinis, but I don’t do any pot or any of that other stuff, whereas she does [pot] and peyote and all that.”