Jane Fonda at Tribeca: 'Hillary Clinton will be president'

The actor predicted that a woman in office could result in violent backlash, while promoting second season of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie at Tribeca film festival

Hours before rival Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton took to the stage on Thursday night in Brooklyn for the ninth and possibly final televised debate, actor and activist Jane Fonda declared that “Hillary will be president”.

Speaking during a panel at the Tribeca film festival to promote the upcoming second season of her Netflix comedy show Grace and Frankie, Fonda explained her reasoning.

“I think that deep down people feel [Clinton] can hit the ground running, even if she may not be the perfect candidate for a lot of people,” Fonda said. “She’s had the experience. The world right now is so complicated – she has the background to deal with all the complications.”

Fonda also commended Sanders on his campaign. “I’m sure glad that Bernie’s running,” she said to cheers from the crowd.

Should Clinton indeed win the Democratic nomination and the ensuing election over the Republican party, Fonda predicted “there will be violence”.

“Every time women move forward, there is going to be problems,” she said, spurred by an audience member who asked Fonda about her feminist principles. “So one of the things we have to do is help men understand why they are so threatened – and change the way we view masculinity. We have a toxic masculinity and that’s what needs to be addressed.”

Gayle King, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda at Tribeca.
Gayle King, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda at Tribeca. Photograph: StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

Earlier during the talk, moderated by CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King, Fonda revealed that after wrapping the first season of Grace and Frankie she considered quitting acting altogether, worrying she wasn’t funny enough to spar opposite her friend and co-star Lily Tomlin, with whom she starred in the 1980 workplace comedy classic 9 to 5. Fonda had previously taken a prolonged break from the business in 1990, shortly after marrying Ted Turner, before making her comeback opposite Jennifer Lopez in 2005’s Monster-in-Law.

“Painters have canvases and paintbrushes, and we have this,” Fonda said, motioning to her body. “We have ourselves. If we’re screwed up for various reasons, if we hate ourselves, it really hard to act well.”

To get back on track to film the second season, Fonda said she went to therapy and hired an acting coach.

Tomlin, also on the panel, said that Fonda’s insecurities were “misguided”. “I told her [after the first season] how funny and terrific she was. She doesn’t think she’s funny. She thought we were doing comedy. I told her we’re not doing comedy, we’re doing dramatic life.”

“I don’t naturally have a funny bone,” said Fonda in response, explaining that she comes “from a long line of depressed people”. Her father is Henry Fonda; her brother Peter.

Later, Fonda was prodded by King to reveal details of her relationship with record producer Richard Perry.

“It took me 72 years to realize kindness is a good thing to look for [in a partner],” Fonda said. “Nobody ever told me that. I didn’t have that in relationships before. Kindness and forgiveness is a new thing. I think if I met it sooner, I would have fled.”

  • The second season of Grace and Frankie premieres on Netflix on 6 May


Nigel M Smith

The GuardianTramp

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