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Encore Presentation: Interview with Jane Fonda

Aired April 17, 2005 - 21:00   ET





LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Jane Fonda, a rare hour with a legend. The dark secret she's kept hidden for years, bulimia, sexual exploitation by her husband, personal talk about being a tabloid target, political lightning rod, finding Christian faith. We'll cover it all, and take your calls with the one and only Jane Fonda, next on LARRY KIND LIVE.


KING: We've known each other a long time. I consider her a friend. She's one of the more talented people I know. And she married a guy who shares the same birthday as I do, Ted Turner. Her new book is "My Life So Far." There you see its cover, the brilliant picture. She looks better than ever, Jane Fonda. She's also going to be in a new movie opening in May called "Monster-in-Law." I saw this, you are hysterically funny. It is terrific.

FONDA: Oh, thank you, Larry.

KING: Welcome back to the screen.

FONDA: Thank you so much.

KING: Are you going to do more?

FONDA: I don't know.

KING: Want to?

FONDA: Yes, it would be fun. I had such a good time making this movie and playing this outrageous character. I'd love to do it again.

KING: She's outrageous.

FONDA: I know.

KING: She's evil to the core.

FONDA: I know, I never played anybody like her. I'm glad you liked it.

KING: It must be fun to play someone.

FONDA: Oh it is. It totally is.

KING: Lets run things down. You write a lot about spirituality in your book. Do you have any thoughts about -- Prince Rainier, you knew Prince Rainier, he's gone. The pope is gone.

FONDA: There's been a lot of death this past week.

KING: Yes.

FONDA: It makes you think about -- which we all should anyway, right? We should think, we should live with an awareness that we're going to die. It makes us more intentional in how we live. I certainly realized that when I turned 60, and that's why I wrote the book. My God, it's my last act and it's not a dress rehearsal. It's like writing without an eraser. Get it right.

KING: This is the last dance in.

FONDA: Well, I probably won't live past 90, you know, not much anyway. And I'm 67. I'm seven years into my third act. I want to do it right. And in order to do that I have to go back and understand what the first two acts were about. When I did that, I realized that my story has a through line that could be helpful to other people.

KING: Why so open a book?

FONDA: Why Not? if you're going to -- it's not salacious book.

KING: Because you were always a private person. It is not a salacious book.

FONDA: It is not at all, or gossipy. I take full blame for everything. I was -- I didn't like in the beginning when you introduced me, exploitation by my husband. Never. It was not never exploitation. It was my issues, feeling that I wasn't good enough caused me to do things that I didn't really want to do. But I was never exploited.

KING: You mean a man who brings other women home to go to bed with -- Roger Vadim did this. You don't feel he's any of the culprit in this?

FONDA: None of his other wives put up with it. The question is why did I, me, Jane Fonda? I didn't even depend on him financially. Why did I put up with, because I didn't think I was good enough. He never forced me.

KING: In writing about it was it cathartic?

FONDA: Not necessarily that. Writing the whole book was transformational. I found out a lot about my parents in the course of writing the book, which allowed me to love them even more and forgive them and consequently to feel compassion for myself. I understand why I did the things the way I did. And I don't want to -- I didn't want to shock. I am not proud of everything I did. But I feel that to know what my journey was and how far I've come, it was necessary to know how -- what I'd been like back then.

KING: Did you write it all yourself?

FONDA: I did, yes.

KING: Its purpose was to help others in addition to coming out yourself, in a sense?

FONDA: I only decided to write it when I realized that what I had to say could reverberate with other people. And what's so amazing is, you know, I've done -- it's been out now for two days, and I'm getting letters from people already. And many of them are men. I got one today who sat -- bought the book yesterday, sat down and read it straight through, and said that it changed his life. From a man. I didn't expect it -- it would have that kind of resonance with men.

KING: It's gotten very good reviews from the ones I've seen.

FONDA: Yes. It's very well written.

KING: Are you doing a mass...

FONDA: I worked real hard.

KING: Are you doing a massive publicity thing?

FONDA: I am, yes. I really believe in this book. And I'm going to work real hard to sell it. You know, it's painful that certain things are taken out and sensationalized, because it's not that kind of book.

KING: You're smart enough to know that would happen. It would also bring people to the bookstores. You know that, too.

FONDA: If I wrote to bring people to the bookstores, there's a lot of other stuff I could have said.

KING: Wait a minute. You left stuff out?

FONDA: You bet I did, yes. You know, it's not necessary to tell all. You know, as my wonderful editor Kate Medina (ph) said at Random House, you don't want to wear the readers out. You've got a lot of great stories, but don't lose the forest for the trees.

KING: But you knew that once you wrote about certain things, that would gain a lot of attention because you always gained attention all your life. You're a Fonda.

FONDA: I've always been in public eye.

KING: So you have to know this would bring attention to you. FONDA: Yes. And I showed it to all the living people that it concerned, my children, my step-children, Ted, Tom Hayden, they all saw what I'd written. I made changes when they asked me to.

KING: Did they correct you on fact?

FONDA: Yes. Primarily.

KING: So if you had a date wrong or something, they would...

FONDA: Yes, or, you know -- yes, that kind of thing. Sometimes deeper than that.

KING: Did they say, don't put this in the book, I'd be embarrassed?

FONDA: No, because I don't think that I put anything in the book that -- no, they didn't. No.

KING: So it had no...

FONDA: No, and you know what I wrote about Van Deem, he'd already written. I've been outted on a lot of things. Including...

KING: It's different when she writes it rather than he writes it. You understand?

FONDA: Well, I wrote it with much more self-reflection and because what was important to me was to figure out why. Why would a woman like me so betray her body and silence her voice and close up her heart in order to please a man? That's what's important about it. Not, oh, what happened in the bed.

KING: Did you find out why?

FONDA: Yes, Yes. Because I grew up a girl that never thought she was good enough. That, you know, in order to be loved, I had to be perfect. I had to twist myself into a pretzel to please a man starting with, guess who, my dad.

KING: Didn't you think you were talented?

FONDA: I started to think I was talented with "Klute".

KING: Not until "Klute"?

FONDA: No, I don't think I was until "Klute." Then I made movies after that were not particularly talented.

KING: Won two Academy Awards. Were you ever rapped in films. Maybe people jokingly with "Barbarella."

FONDA: What do you mean rapped?

KING: You know, where you got criticized.

FONDA: Oh, yes, sure.

KING: I thought you were always pretty well respected in the acting field?

FONDA: Once -- once -- I think the turning point for me was actually directed by Sidney Pollack in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" That was -- that was my first nomination for an Oscar. And the first time people said oh, she could be a serious actor, because before then it wasn't like that.

KING: Julia would have approved it, wouldn't...

FONDA: Julia, Yes, that was later. Yes.

KING: Was that one of your favorites?

FONDA: Yes. "Coming Home," "9 to 5." One early favorite was "Bare Foot in the Park." You know, it's not often that comedy will stand the test of time. That's one that does.

KING: Great play, too.

FONDA: Yes, it was. Well, Neil Simon (ph), brilliant writer.

KING: Let's go back a little.


KING: I knew your father.

FONDA: I know.

KING: Interviewed your father. He told me something once, I never forgot, I've quoted this to people. He said "I wish that I could really be Mr. Roberts because I'm nothing like him." So he knew his own faults, didn't he?

FONDA: And he wrote about them. You know, several people have asked me would you have written about him this way if he were alive? And yes, I would have. Because I don't say anything that he didn't say about himself. I think that he would be surprised at the degree to which I have tried to understand him and reflected on it a lot. And how I was able to forgive him. I love him so much. And I miss him so much.

KING: But America saw him as one of the good guys next door.


KING: Not distant, not remote.

FONDA: People who knew him knew he was distant. And, you know, as I write about in the book, it was -- it was growing -- I grew up with Tom Joad and "Grapes of Wrath" and "Young Abe Lincoln," and that character that he played and the "Ox-Bow Incident," and then "12 Angry Men." These were the films that informed my values -- and my values. And so when I became controversial, I sort of wanted to have Clarence Darrow opposite me. And of course, he played those characters because for the same reason that he said that to you, he wanted to be like them.

KING: Oh, did he.

FONDA: We want to inhabit people that can change us.

KING: He said when he did Mr. Roberts on Broadway, sometimes it would be 2:00 in the afternoon and he would wish it would be 8:00 so he could be Mr. Roberts.

FONDA: Did you know that he played that for four years and never missed...

KING: A performance.

FONDA: ... one.

KING: We'll be right back with Jane Fonda. The book is "My Life So Far." In stores everywhere now. We'll be right back.


FONDA: I think that maybe you and I should have the kind of relationship that we're supposed to have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What kind of relationship is that?

FONDA: Well, you know, like a father and a daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just in the nick of time, huh? Worrying about the will, are you? Well, I'm leaving everything to you, except what I'm taking it with me.

FONDA: Just stop it. I don't want anything. It just -- it seems that you and I have been mad at each other for so long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't think we were mad. I thought we just didn't like each other.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This, this is what I mean. This. A bed.

FONDA: That? Well, nobody's done that for centuries. Nobody except the very poor who can't afford the pills and the psychocardiogram readings.


FONDA: Because it was proved to be a distraction and a danger to maximum efficiency. And it was pointless to continue it when other substitutes for ego support and self esteem were made available.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you won't do it?

FONDA: Well, if you simply must insist, I guess so. But I can assure you, there's really no point at all in doing it like this.


FONDA: That's a funny scene.

KING: Did "Barbarella" in your career help?

FONDA: I don't know. You know Larry, I never kind of thought in those terms, really.


FONDA: See, right after I did "Barbarella" almost I became an activist. And so for my -- I wanted to divorce myself from it.

But now looking at it, I enjoy it. I find it charming. And he had such campy vision.

KING: Was he a great director?

FONDA: He was a wonderful director. He had real style. And he loved to make his women beautiful.

KING: Your mother committed suicide?

FONDA: When I was 12.

KING: You didn't know it, though, right?

FONDA: No, they told me it was a heart attack.

KING: When did you know it?

FONDA: About six months later. I was in study hall at the Greenwich Academy. And someone handed me a movie magazine. And in it I read that she had killed herself.

KING: How do you react to something like that? Were you close?

FONDA: No. No. She suffered from manic depression and, you know, she was a challenged person.

And I dedicated my book to her, because I knew that I wouldn't really be able to heal unless I came to terms with her. But I thought, how am I going to do this? You know, my father is famous. But who is alive that knew her? And then like miracles, people began to come to me who knew her.

And then I got her medical records from the Austin Riggs Clinic. And in the records was her own life history that she wrote. And in it I discovered that she had been sexually abused. And the minute I knew that, I knew everything that I need to know about her. And I wanted so to be able to hold her and tell her that I understood everything and I forgave her.

KING: Was your father sensitive to her needs?


KING: What was wrong with Henry? You loved him, obviously.


KING: What was the matter?

FONDA: I think, Larry -- and again in the course of writing the book, I talked to many Fonda relatives. There's a lot of Fonda girls. And what they helped me to understand was that there was undiagnosed depression throughout the Fondas.

KING: And your father had it too?

FONDA: I think so, yes.

Had he lived in the period of serotonin uptake inhibitors, probably things would have been very different. Not that he would have taken them, you know, because he came from a generation where you didn't get therapy and you didn't -- you know, you just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. But had he, it probably would have been a lot lighter. He would have been a lighter person.

KING: Did he like your activism or not? Because he was a -- I saw him in Times Square speak for Adelaide Stevenson 1952, with Humphrey Bogart, speak. So he was active in politics.

FONDA: Yes, he was a very involved Cold War liberal who really campaigned for Adelaide Stevenson.

But his way of doing it was, you know, voting for people who said they were going to end the war. But of course, they never did. And mine was protest. And it was a generational rift that occurred in thousands of families across America during the Vietnam War, didn't it?

KING: Was it a rift in yours?


KING: Was he mad at your activism?

FONDA: It scared him.

KING: Even though he was opposed to the war, too?

FONDA: Yes. Because when I became involved in the war because of what soldiers told me -- veterans returned, GIs told me about the war. And I remember I would come back from talking to guys at military bases and I would tell him what they told me. And he didn't believe it.

And he said to me, if you can prove to me that this is true, I will personally lead a march on the White House. So, of course, hey, I brought a Donald Duck in a green beret over to my father and other people, other veterans to talk to him. And bless his heart, he listened.

But he said, I'm doing what I know how to do. You know? he just wasn't going to be at the barricades.

KING: He also told me that he was nervous if he didn't have a script.


KING: Even though he was Henry Fonda, he wasn't sure he was going to get a movie.

FONDA: It plagues a lot of actors, it plagues a lot of actors. And you know, his work was his life. That and his painting. He was, as you know, a fantastic painter.

KING: Were you close at death?

FONDA: Yes. Well, first of all, the movie that you showed a clip of. How many children have an opportunity to produce a movie for a father like that who you want to get close to, in which the relationship in the move so paralleled our relationship in real life? When you are able in the scene you showed to say to your father things that you weren't able to say in life, I mean, what a mitzvah. My God.

KING: I knew she was Jewish.

We'll be right back with Jane Fonda. The book is "My Life So Far." Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll see you tonight, OK?

FONDA: What was that? A kiss?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you get inside? This is a nice hotel.

FONDA: Was that a kiss? Because boy, if that's what kisses are going to be like from now on, don't bother to come back at 5:30.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corey (ph) I can't kiss you anymore. My lips are numb. Now will you please go inside?

FONDA: If you don't give me a real kiss, I'm going to give you back your pajamas right now.



FONDA: No, please.


FONDA: No, wait.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you find me?

FONDA: You're hurting me. Stop it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is with you?

FONDA: I'm alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you find me?

FONDA: I swear to God, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you get here?

FONDA: I drove myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How? How did you find me?

FONDA: Gus. Gus Atwater.


KING: We're back with Jane Fonda. What a body of work. Kate Hepburn have an effect on you?

FONDA: You couldn't spend time with Kate Hepburn without her having an effect. Yes, she stirred things up in her cauldron. And she made me think. And she -- I had a hard time sleeping at night after I spent time with her.

KING: Did she know about you and your dad and relationships?

FONDA: Well, yes. If she didn't know before, she found out during the film. You know -- Scott Berg wrote a wonderful book "Rembering Kate." She told him how she sensed the tension crackling between us on the set.

KING: That was his only Academy Award.


KING: How did they miss him?

FONDA: I don't know.

KING: And you accepted?

FONDA: He was too sick to get it. He died five months later. And I accepted his award for him in a movie that I produced with my partner Bruce Gilbert. And it was the happiest day.

And typical dad, I brought it home, Bridget was with me and my Tom and my kids. And we brought it home to him. He was sitting -- Shirley was with him. And I handed it to him. And I said, how do you feel, dad? And he said, I'm so happy for Kate.

Such a good man.

KING: Were you with him when he passed away?

FONDA: I got there about three minutes later.

KING: What about Roger Vadeem. How did you meet him?

FONDA: I was in France making a movie. Well, I'd met him before. And he scared me. Then I went back to make a film in France. And I had such a -- you know, when you've demonized someone in your mind and you think he's just a terrible person or she's a terrible person, and then you meet them, and they turn out to be very human, and especially if they're a very tall, dark and extremely handsome and charismatic, well, you know, I fell in love.

He had such a great accent. And he was just -- he had a ribald sense of humor. And he was irresistible.

KING: And as you said, he had a control, right? You succumbed to that control, as you did with other men?

FONDA: He wasn't a controlling kind of person at all.

KING: And what was -- your weakness was...

FONDA: My weakness was I thought I wasn't good enough. This is a theme through my life.

KING: And that stems from what?

FONDA: It stems from my father letting me know that I wasn't good enough, objectifying me, bless his heart. He didn't mean to be cruel. But...

KING: Yet you love him?

FONDA: Yes, I do, because I understand him. And I worked hard to understand him. And I've forgiven him. He did the best he could. There's a lot of fathers like that. You know, that's why "On Golden Pond" was such a successful movie, because so many people identified with it.

KING: Were you angry...

FONDA: You know, there's got to be a statute of limitations on anger at your parents, right? Enough already.

KING: Good statement.


KING: Were you angry at Vadeem just initially bringing women home? Didn't you say to yourself -- even with your own needs...

FONDA: Yes, I was angry, but I never said so. I just drank too much to numb it.

KING: The bulimia, you were always bulimic?

FONDA: No, I became bulimic in high school. And I've been outted before. I mean, I came out when I wrote my first workout book and admitted that I suffered from bulimia for almost 30 years.

KING: That's throwing up for 30 years?

FONDA: Yes. My girlfriend and I read that that's what Romans used to do with their orgies. We thought we were the only people besides the Romans that ever did such a thing. And there was no name for it.

It's what happens to girls when they hit adolescence and realize that they're not good enough, they're not perfect. And so they do what I did. I kind of moved out of myself and took up residence next door, leaving this empty place filled with anxiety. And I -- people fill it with different things, alcohol, booze, gambling, sex, shopping. I filled it with food.

KING: Nobody around you knew it.

FONDA: Nobody knew it.

KING: Not even your husband?

FONDA: It's a very, very easy disease to hide.

KING: Did you go into the bathroom by yourself.

FONDA: Uh-huh.

KING: But didn't people remark, you're eating a lot and you're not gaining any weight?

FONDA: No, nobody noticed. But maybe I just managed to choose people who weren't paying much attention.

KING: How did you defeat it?

FONDA: I was in my 40s and I realized that I had to make a choice between life and death. Not literal death, but soul death. I was being drawn to the darkness. And I had a life. I had -- People depended on me. I was winning awards and raising money and making movies. And I knew that I couldn't do the life the way I wanted. And so I stopped. And I went cold turkey which was like being a dry drunk. I wasn't dealing with the problem. I was just not doing the behavior anymore.

KING: Before we get to Ted Turner, did Tom Hayden bring out a lot of activism in you? He being such an activist himself?

FONDA: No. I was already an activist when I met Tom.

KING: So this was a meeting of activists.

FONDA: Yes, it was. What Tom gave me was context and strategy and a loving environment that helped me deepen my activism.

KING: But he left you?

FONDA: He did. Yes. I don't blame him.

KING: You're kidding.

FONDA: It was a dysfunctional marriage. It was fabulous for a bunch of years. And when the war ended, because we were joined heart and hip during the war. And there's nothing more wonderful than...

KING: A cause.

FONDA: A cause that you are doing side by side with a man you love and admire, respect, with a cohort of companions along with you. I mean, it was just important. And we know that we made a difference.

And when the war ended and I started the workout, it was hard on him. And I sort of -- then I went back to my career. And won my second Academy Award. And it was hard. It's hard, you know.

As Ted said to me on our second date, I wouldn't have put up with it.

KING: We'll take a break and talk about Vietnam and Ted Turner and include some of your phone calls. The book is "My Life So Far." And "Monster-in-Law" a terrifically funny movie which she's great opens in May. We'll be right back.


FONDA: You ever been in bed with a Syrian who chewed tobacco? Well, if anybody ever asks you, you can tell them there's no future in it.

What do you want, the whole floor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I'm terribly sorry.

FONDA: The way she's throwing it around, her feet will last longer than her rearend.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're on the air. FONDA: I met Jack about two days ago. And I'm convinced that what happened tonight was not the act of a drunk or a crazy man. Jack Adele was about to present evidence that he believed would show that this plant should be shut down. I'm sorry I'm not very objective. Let's just hope it doesn't end here.


KING: "China Syndrome," a great movie. Were you in support of your feelings, were you anti-nuclear?

FONDA: Yes, I was. Tom and I actively, you know, advocated to stop licensing nuclear plants.

KING: So you brought your activism -- in fact, as you mention in the book, you talked to prostitutes a lot, Vadim got you involved meeting to prostitutes helped you play "Klute."

FONDA: Well, I remembered back to those women and I had gotten to know them. And what I learned from them helped inform my performance in "Klute." But starting with "Coming Home," when I began to sort own the content of movies that I did, I -- my activism was reflected in my movies. "Nine to Five," many of them.

KING: "Nine to Five," as I said. Dabney Coleman (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


KING: Clear something up, because I'm basing this on paper accounts. What did you say about Hanoi, you were sorry you went?

FONDA: I'm sorry, that I was photographed sitting on an anti- aircraft gun. Me. That image made soldiers think that I was against American soldiers. And I had spent the two years prior to going there working with soldiers. They brought me into the anti-war movement. It was what I had heard from them and learned from them that turned me against the war. Because before then, I came to the anti-war movement really late. I -- you know, I thought that it was -- I neatly compartmentalized, and not wanted to admit that it was very different than the war my father had fought in. And I spent two years trying to help and support anti-war G.I.s and returning Vietnam veterans. And I opened an office in Washington called the G.I. office, then eventually I made "Coming Home."

KING: How did you let yourself be photographed? Why did you even jump on the tank?

FONDA: I didn't jump on the tank. It was the last day there. I was -- I was in a kind of raw state. Because as I say -- I've written in detail about the trip. It was an extremely emotional experience, being in a country that was being bombed by my country. And I went there to expose the lies that Nixon was telling us. And on the last day, these group of young soldiers had sung me a song, and I -- asked me to sing one back, and I did. And it was in Vietnamese, and I probably made a fool of myself. They were laughing and clapping. I was laughing and clapping. And you know, there was the gun over there. Someone kind of offered me a seat, and I sat down. And I wasn't really thinking of what it meant.

KING: Did you realize when you came home...

FONDA: When I stood up and walked -- when I was walking away, it hit me what that would look like. And I asked them to destroy the pictures, but there must have been 50 photographers. And it should have been a red flag to me, because I've never seen that many photographers.

KING: You had to live through a lot after that, right, taunts of people.

FONDA: I think it hurt a lot of people. And I'm very, very sorry. And I will go to my grave regretting that lapse of judgment. It was terrible.

KING: When you met Ted Turner, he even said he has friends who were communists, right? He thought you were a communist.

FONDA: I don't know what he thought, Larry. But our very first date, we barely got in the car and sat down, that he turned to me like a little boy bringing home good grades and said, I have lots of friends who are communists. I've been to Cuba three times. Castro and I are good friends. I know Gorbachev. And it was -- I'm thinking, is he saying this because he thinks I'm a communist and to let me know it's OK, it won't stand in the way.

KING: Of course, that's why he was saying it.

FONDA: Or that he wanted me to find it endearing, which I did. I thought it was hysterical. And then you know what he followed that up with, like that wasn't a good way to begin a date. He then said, I don't really know a lot about you, so I went into the CNN archives and they pulled all your documents in. And it was about a foot high. And he said, so then I had them pull mine and mine was about three feet high. Mine's bigger than yours.

KING: Why did you fall in love with him? Not that we could explain why we fall in love.

FONDA: You know why I feel in love with him. You know him well. He's the most fascinating, charming, generous, exciting, sexy, good looking, my God, he was good looking. And you know, the big deal is that he wasn't afraid of letting me know that he needed me. We need to be needed. And most men I've been with didn't want to let me know that they needed me, they were kind of intimidated by my success. Not Ted.

KING: Did he -- Did he ever try to do things with you like Vadim did or others did?

FONDA: No, the problem with Ted was that he -- he moved so fast through life. And I could do that for a period of time. And then, you know, when I hit 60, I didn't want to live laterally. I wanted to live vertically and go deep and slow down. I know it's hard for you to understand this. Before we went on air, Larry said he doesn't know how to relax, neither does Ted. But I wanted -- I wanted to go deep into life. And I wanted to really -- he was a man that I wanted to show up for. I had been afraid of intimacy all my life. And I worked real hard on myself to get over that, and to get over the disease to please. And I wanted to bring my whole self to the table with this man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And he couldn't take it.

KING: You still love him?

FONDA: I do, I do. We love each other. We see each other.

KING: You see each other?

FONDA: We do.

KING: You date?

FONDA: Kind of, you know. He's got girlfriends, and I sometimes see them and have dinner with them and give them points. Women who loved him always love him. When I met him, his girlfriend had been a woman who -- her name was J.J. -- is J.J.

KING: I know J.J., the pilot.

FONDA: You know J.J. And she wrote me a little manual called user's manual. And it was tips about how to handle him.

KING: Also how to do the CDs and put everything together, because he has no (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

FONDA: The kind of music he likes. I mean it's so charming. We love him and we want him to be happy. So, whoever he's with, I want her to know how to do it.

KING: But you're not dating others?


KING: Why not?

FONDA: I haven't met anybody I wanted to date, although I saw a psychic...

KING: And?

FONDA: ... A month ago. She says that I'm going to meet somebody this year that's going to be my soul mate. I said, I don't -- I'm not looking. She said, that's why you're going to find somebody. I don't spend a lot of time -- I got my grandson, my granddaughter.

KING: It is hard though, if you're still in love with someone else. If you're still in love with Ted. FONDA: Well, I'm not in love that way. I'm not in love like I wish we were together again. I'm in love with him because my heart is totally.

KING: You don't pine for him.

FONDA: No, I don't pine.

KING: I like that word pine.

FONDA: It's a good word.

KING: We'll be back with Jane Fonda. The book is "My Life So Far."

Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it someplace else.

FONDA: Luke! Luke! Luke! Stop, stop, and listen to me. What is the matter with you? Why do you have to be such a bastard?




FONDA: You're not leaving this office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch me. You know, I was just pretending a while ago. But this thing is getting out of hand. Nobody makes a fool out of me in my own office. I'm calling the police.

FONDA: Hold it right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God, you're as crazy as the other two.

FONDA: Close that door or I'll shoot.


KING: I love that movie. Dabney is hysterical.

FONDA: Dolly's not chopped liver, or Lily.

KING: Weren't you going to do a two?


KING: Weren't you going to do a part two?

FONDA: But we never could get it. We just couldn't get it right.

KING: You were going to do a sequel.

FONDA: Yes, but we couldn't get it right.

KING: All right. I'm going to tell you something. Not out of school, because Ted Turner said it to me, but he didn't say (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He said -- I said, what happened with Jane? He goes, she's religious! Jane found religion. What's the story?

FONDA: It was little tiny baby steps that were leading me in this direction, and then when Ted brought me to Georgia, I, for the first time, got to know people -- well, you know them, Andy Young, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter and others, who were people that practice their faith. And I was very interested, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it and reading about it and talking to them. And when I -- when the marriage was collapsing -- it was collapsing anyway -- and I didn't feel Ted and I were on the same team.

Still, it was wrong of me to do this. I became a Christian. I didn't discuss it with him, because I knew that he would talk me out of it. And then when we separated, I began to really study it, and I thought, uh-oh, I don't know. There's a lot of problems I have here with this Christianity. Maybe I've made a mistake. I'm a feminist. But I'm on a journey. I am really studying it, and I'm...

KING: You're not a born again?

FONDA: I don't even know what that means. It is hard to say -- for someone like me to say that they're a Christian because it is so politically loaded and it's so identified with fundamentalism now.

KING: But what does it mean to you? You're not a fundamentalist.

FONDA: To me -- no, to me, feminism and Christianity are very compatible. The teachings of Jesus is, is feminist. What I mean by that is that all people, women as well as men, have to claim their whole humanity, have to open their hearts, have to care about the less-than, have to be generous and forgiving and peace-loving, and -- but he viewed everyone as a whole human being. He never looked down on women. And I have to just stay with that. I have to stay with those teachings and not the ones that say that women were the cause of the downfall of man and all that part.

KING: Do you read your Bible?

FONDA: I read theology. I read biblical history. I read everything from Robert Graves' "King David" to the "Gnostic Gospels" to "The Book of John." I read a lot. I'm on a journey, and it's hard for me to talk about it a lot because it is pretty new.

KING: Let's take a call for Jane Fonda. Jackson, Mississippi. Hello.

Caller: Hello, Jane.

FONDA: Hello. Caller: My question is, since you have become a Christian, have you been able to resolve some of your anxieties from your younger life?

KING: Good question.

FONDA: That's a very -- thank you for that question. Yes. I said to Larry earlier in the show that I went cold turkey from my addiction to food, my bulimia, in my 40s. And I was like a dry drunk. I hadn't dealt with the emptiness that I was trying to fill with my food addiction. It was when I began to feel -- the only way I can say it is reverence. I felt reverence coming into me, and I realized that I had moved back into myself. And that I was becoming whole again. And that spiritual journey was a great deal of it. That and the very hard work I did on myself.

KING: Have you -- would you say this is the happiest you've been?

FONDA: Yes. Isn't that crazy? At 67? I've never been happy. I mean, I'm concerned about the world and I wish things were different. But in terms of who I am and feeling good about myself, you know, good enough is good enough. Let's get rid of perfection. It's a toxic nightmare.

KING: Good enough is good enough.

FONDA: That's right.

KING: We'll be back with more of Jane Fonda. Don't go away.


FONDA: Well, I think that Klute gave me an opportunity to show a multidimensional character, which is unusual. It is rare that a woman gets a chance to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you mind not doing that?

FONDA: What?


FONDA: Well, I thought I could trade you for those tapes. Doesn't it get lonely down there in your little room? Or maybe I could bring you some friends. I've got some terrific friends.


FONDA: Well, men have paid $200 for me and here you are turning down a freebie. You could get a perfectly good dishwasher for that.





JENNIFER LOPEZ: Oh, well I can always get liposuction. I've been meaning to ask, is it painful?

FONDA: That maid of honor bitch, priceless.

LOPEZ: Well, you know what they say, keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.


LOPEZ: Now you listen to me. This is my game now. You are going to tell Kevin that you are not moving into our neighborhood and that you decided that you're feeling like it is time that you go on with your own life. You are moving out of our house immediately. This is over!

FONDA: Oh, this isn't over. Not even close, girlie.

LOPEZ: Well, bring it on, grandma.


KING: That's from "Monster-in-Law." If you don't like it, there's something the matter with you. No, really -- well, take your pulse. It's really funny. It opens in May.

Let's go to Waterford, Michigan, with Jane Fonda. Hello.

Caller: Hi, Jane.


Caller: Earlier you said you were surprised by the response by men who had their lives changed by your book. Well, let me tell you, 20 years ago I sent you a letter. I'm a recovering bulimic. And you sent me info from your book at the time, and it changed my life, and I just wanted to say thank you. And I hope that we meet one day so I can say thank you in person.

FONDA: Oh, thank you for saying that. There's a chapter in this book called "Hunger" that I think you'll appreciate. Thanks for calling.

KING: Now, I'm going to say something that the audience will realize how we are aging. You are going to have hip replacement?

FONDA: Yes. It doesn't exactly square with my self-image.

KING: Jane Fonda. What happened?

FONDA: I suffer genetically from osteoarthritis.

KING: Come on! What, are we going to a nursing home? You have osteoarthritis?


KING: So they're going to give you two new hips?

FONDA: So, I'm going for the ceramic and titanium, myself.

KING: What are you going to get?

FONDA: Where?

KING: What?

FONDA: What am I going to get, ceramic and titanium? You want the details?

KING: Oh, you're not kidding.

FONDA: No, I'm not kidding.

KING: You are going to get two new hips.

FONDA: I want them to when they take my hip joint out, I wanted them to bleach and dry it, and give it to me so I could put it on my mantle and kiss it everyday. Thanks for getting me this far, you know. But they can't do it. Hazardous -- I don't know, they can't do it. Yes, I can't wait to be put to sleep. By the time that happens, I'm going to be so tired and so ready to go under. You know, a lot of people...

KING: You're still sick.

FONDA: What? People -- even people younger than me say it's a no drainer. You know, you're up within two days.

KING: Do, you have trouble moving? You have pain?

FONDA: Sometimes, it depends. It comes and goes.

KING: Do you still exercise?

FONDA: I did, until the hip started hurting me, yes. My first question to the surgeon was, is this because of my workout? And he said, no, this is genetic. You just have a proclivity to it. They shoot horses, don't they?

KING: That would be -- we're going to take a break and come back. With some more moments with Jane Fonda, get a few more calls in. The book is "My Life So Far." It's on sale everywhere books are on sale and you can buy it through the book services, as well.


KING: And call in services.

FONDA: I'm five on Amazon right now. KING: You're number five on Amazon already.


KING: You're going to be a golden oldie soon.

FONDA: Apparently, I'm going to sell 10,000 from Barnes & Noble this week, which puts me more than twice ahead of the next one, not that I'm competitive or anything.

KING: No. We'll be right back with our remaining moments with Jane Fonda, don't go away.


FONDA: Oh, I'm so happy for you. Congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe this.

FONDA: Congratulations. I'm so pleased that you're going to be my daughter-in-law. Oh, congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe this.

FONDA: I'm so happy for you.



FONDA: You were talking about Zsa Zsa Gabor earlier.

CARSON: Everybody's talking about her.

FONDA: My sons said, you know, she was on Johnny Carson's show one time. She came there with a cat on her lap. And she said to you, "Do you want to pet my pussy?" And my son said that you said "I'd love to if you'd remove that damn cat."


FONDA: I love Johnny.

KING: What was -- what about him was...

FONDA: He was just a -- he had a big heart and he was very generous. I'll never forget the last -- that show, when he introduced me. He didn't have to do this. He said, we know that she was right about the war in Vietnam, and then he brought me out. It just blew my mind. He was always very nice to me and good to me.

KING: What was the saddest part -- moment of your life? We've talked about the happiest, which is now. And when you accepted the Academy Award for your dad.

FONDA: Well, there's been a bunch of them. One is when Ted and I split up. Another is just looking back and seeing that I wasn't the mother that I wish I'd been to by my daughter. I'm trying to make it up now.

KING: How did you fail her?

FONDA: I just wasn't there. Even when I was there physically, I didn't really show up, and I regret it. But, you know, it's never too late. It's never too late.

KING: How old is she now?

FONDA: She's 36, and she has two children. And she's the most fantastic mother. I think she learned how to be a good parent from her mother from her father, Roger Vadim. He was a wonderful father to her.

KING: He was?

FONDA: Oh, fantastic. As Tom Hayden is a wonderful father to our son Troy Gabbana.

KING: Do you keep in touch with Tom?

FONDA: Oh, yes. I do. And I love his wife, and he's got a little baby who's the same age as my grandson.

KING: You hang on, don't you?

FONDA: Why not, life's too short. Hang on to the people that you've loved. See them with new eyes, forgive. Hope that they forgive you. Families come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and configurations. You know, I have an adopted African-American daughter. Vadim's first born, Natalie Vadim, is part of my family. And, you know, gather the clan, hang in tight.

KING: You like being a grandma?

FONDA: Nobody prepared me for being a grandmother. It has -- it changed my life. It did. It opened my heart. It opened my heart in a way that had never been opened before. And I'll never be the same. I just -- it gives you a second chance. Doesn't it, you know.

KING: Without the responsibility.

FONDA: Yes. Yes. Without the responsibility, and yet I do feel a responsibility. Grandparents can be real important in the lives of their grandchildren. They can say and do things that parents can't always do. Although, my daughter is such a good mother that I listen to her advice very, very carefully. You know, there's this miracle that happens in life. When your children become adults and then you have to make this switch and realize that you can learn from them. It's beautiful.

KING: Are you -- do you like being called grandma?

FONDA: Yes, I do. You know, in the south women don't want to be called grandma. I don't know. They call me grandma, I like it.

KING: Did you have grandparents? Did you live with grandparents?

FONDA: I had a grandma that helped rear me after my mother died, yes.

KING: And why Atlanta?

FONDA: Oh, lots of reasons. The people are so friendly and the food is so great. And it's manageable and I'm at heart I'm a social activist. And you know, if you create change in California, people say well, yes, but that's such a, you know, enclave, elite enclave. If you can do something in Georgia, it's real. You know, it's everything is sort of like what you see is what you get. I like that.

KING: And Ted brung you there.

FONDA: Ted brung me there. He did. Bless his heart.

KING: Thank you, darling.

FONDA: Oh, Larry, it's good to see you. Thanks for having me.

KING: Jane Fonda, the Oscar winning actress, soon to be seen in a terrific funny film, first film in 15 years, "Monster-in-Law. And the book is "My Life So Far."


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