Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda on Coupling Up Again for a New Netflix Film

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda on Coupling Up Again for a New Netflix Film

Article excerpt

Netflix film reunites Redford, Fonda again


TORONTO - Hollywood stars Jane Fonda and Robert Redford never thought they would live long enough to play an onscreen couple again.

Nearly 40 years after last starring as a cinematic pair, both say hopes of getting together one last time had long faded. But then "Our Souls At Night" serendipitously landed in Redford's lap.

The new film, which debuted Friday on Netflix, is based on Kent Haruf's posthumously published novel about two elderly neighbours seeking companionship late in their lives. When Redford read the book, he couldn't see anyone but Fonda starring alongside him.

He decided this was his chance to woo her back.

"Time was wasting," the 81-year-old actor says. "I wasn't sure (the right film) would come around until this."

Mortality isn't usually a topic confronted by actors during interviews, but Redford and Fonda raise it several times in separate conversations.

"First of all, I didn't think I'd ever be alive at this age," Fonda, who turns 80 in December, says matter of factly. "I never thought I'd be able to work with him again."

Both of their characters are facing the realities of getting older and the emotional baggage that comes with it. They have partners who have died, and their own mistakes linger, but they are still looking for a human connection.

"Our Souls at Night" opens with Fonda's character asking Redford if he'd like to sleep with her. She means it literally.

Soon afterward, they wind up in bed together, reflecting on their lives. It's not about sex, though the topic does eventually come up.

"No one pays much attention to love coming later in life to people who thought they lost it," Redford says.

"But (these two people) find it in a surprising way -- lying together at night and just talking to each other. The idea that if it's dark and you're willing, you can say things you haven't said before... There's a connection on that level that's very unique."

It helps that Redford and Fonda have a storied history on the silver screen.

She played the lonely wife to his imprisoned husband in 1966's "The Chase" before the pair got together as doe-eyed newlyweds in 1967's "Barefoot in the Park. …

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