Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jane Fonda on 'Book Club,' Fighting Ageism and Feeling Her 'Best Self' at 80

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jane Fonda on 'Book Club,' Fighting Ageism and Feeling Her 'Best Self' at 80

Article excerpt

Jane Fonda on 'Book Club' and feeling her 'best self'

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TORONTO - At 80, Jane Fonda feels like she's in her prime.

"I feel I'm my best self right now," the two-time Oscar-winning actress, activist, author, former model and fitness guru said in a recent phone interview.

"I think all the work and the intentionality has paid off. The French have an expression: 'Je suis bien dans ma peau' -- 'I am good in my skin.'"

Such is also the outlook of her character in her new film "Book Club," which hits theatres Friday.

Fonda plays a hotel mogul whose confidence and sexual prowess shine through in her "I don't need anyone" attitude, and her leather clothing and thigh-high boots.

Her disinterest in a long-term life partner changes, however, when she starts to fall for a former lover, played by Don Johnson.

Helping her through her crisis of the heart are her longtime friends, played by Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen.

As they each read "Fifty Shades of Grey" as part of their monthly book club, they also encounter personal and relationship issues that force them out of their comfort zones.

"(The cast) was one of the reasons I wanted to do the movie," said Fonda.

"I had met all the other women but I didn't really know them and I wanted to get to know them. We had a very, very good time and we've all pledged to remain friends."

Fonda also liked that the story highlights "the importance of women's friendships."

"Seeing women loving each other and having each other's backs, I think it's very important. Too often that's not what we see," she said.

"The other thing is seeing older women -- women over 60, in my case 80 -- having interesting, exciting and even sensual lives is a good thing for people to see. It will make younger people less afraid of getting older."

Montreal native Erin Simms co-wrote and produced the star-packed comedy along with Bill Holderman, who also directed. The two first met while working at Robert Redford's Wildwood Enterprises, which produced "Our Souls at Night," starring him and Fonda.

Simms said the story was inspired by Holderman sending the "Fifty Shades" trilogy to his mom for Mother's Day, which prompted her to do the same. …

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