Jane Fonda sat down with Matt Lauer for an interview that aired on ‘Today’ Thursday morning, just 24 hours after she lit up social media by shutting down Megyn Kelly’s attempts to ask her about plastic surgery on the NBC morning show.
The actress also explained her problem with Megyn’s question in an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada on Wednesday, saying: ‘Given the fact that we don’t have a lot of time and Bob [Redford] is right here, it’s a weird thing to bring up – whether I’ve had plastic surgery or not.’
Fonda then very plainly stated: ‘I have and I’ve talked about it. Seemed like the wrong time and place to ask that question.’
Redford also weighed in, stating: ‘I think Jane didn’t want to go there. I think she didn’t want to have the show turn into about her, her surgery or her look. It was about the quality of the performance.’
They shoot host-es, don’t they: Jane Fonda (above) was back on ‘Today’ Thursday morning, sitting down for an interview with anchor Matt Lauer
Fun with Matt and Jane: She was all smiles during the sit-down, which was taped shortly after she finished filming ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ on Wednesday (Lauer and Fonda above)
This is where I leave you: Fonda took aim at Megyn (above) on Wednesday when she tried to get the star to speak about her plastic surgery
The 79-year-old screen legend was all smiles in her second appearance on ‘Today’ this week, exuding warmth and eager to speak with Lauer about her new film with friend and fellow Hollywood legend Robert Redford.
Fonda’s change in attitude was all the more remarkable considering that she taped the segment shortly after coming off the set of Megyn’s show, where she spent the latter half of her interview offering up icy stares and looks of disbelief in response to the host’s questions.
Lauer seemed to play a big role in Fonda’s attitude adjustment, with the seasoned pro sparing no compliment during the pair’s brief chat, saying at one point: ‘You walked in the studio a second ago. As I always do with you, I’m in awe. Because you seem so vibrant.’
‘Jane Fonda, welcome back. This makes me happy,’ said Lauer at the top of the interview, which saw the two seated alone in a empty studio.
‘I like to make people happy,’ responded Fonda, who then spoke about how quickly she agreed to do her new film with Redford, ‘Our Souls at Night.’
‘It’s a wonderful book,’ explained Fonda.
‘Bob bought the book and he produced the movie. He was smart enough to ask me to be in it with him. It makes a lot of sense, the two of us together in a movie like this.’
Lauer then said to Fonda: ‘You said something about doing the movie with him. You said I wanted to fall in love with him again. Just elaborate on that a little bit.’
Fonda, who has appeared in four movies with Redford over the course of 50 years, said: ‘Well, there’s something about him. I mean, besides the gorgeousness, he’s smart, he’s funny. We have a lot in common. We both like trees and mountains and horses.’
She continued: ‘The movie needed us to feel like hands going into comfortable gloves. It felt that way. Very, very comfortable.’
‘Given the fact that we don’t have a lot of time and Bob [Redford] is right here, it’s a weird thing to bring up – whether I’ve had plastic surgery or not,’ said Fonda
Lauer then got to work very carefully, and eloquently, setting up his next question so as not to possible offend Fonda, even though he was speaking about her character in the film.
‘What I like, and I don’t want to make this sound superficial, but you can have sex and … It is so nice that this movie, you know, portrays that among an age group that they often don’t include that in a movie,’ said Lauer.
Fonda smiled and agreed with Lauer, who went on to say: ‘It is important to people out there watching who say, wait a second, my sexual life is not over when I turn 50.’
The actress, who will turn 80 later this year, did not seem the slightest bit bothered by Lauer’s question.
‘Yeah. But we get to the sex in the way it should kind of always be. When I ask him to come and sleep with me, it is just so we can talk and I won’t feel alone. So we spend such a long time lying in bed and talking,’ explained Fonda.
‘By the time the sex comes, we’re like hands in old gloves.’
Both Fonda and Lauer both commented then how glad they were about this film being a return to romance before the Oscar-winning star was asked to reminisce on her most famous film with Redford, ‘Barefoot in the Park.’
‘Nothing but fun. It was about the best-written comedy that one can imagine. We had such a good time,’ said Fonda.
And to close things out, Lauer and Fonda had a nice and respectful exchange about age.
‘By the way, before people at home cringe when I mention your age, you’ve always said to me it’s okay … so you will turn…’ said Lauer, not wanting to fill in the blank and risk another on-air gaffe.
’80,’ stated Fonda.
’80 this year.’
Lauer then asked: ‘You feel you are in an incredibly good place in your life.’
Fonda then opened up by saying she was in a good place, explaining: ‘I never thought I’d live this long. I’ve outlived my parents. And I’m working and I feel good. I’m just, I constantly pinch myself. I feel very blessed.’
Lauer then thanked his guest for stopping by, and remarked that she was off to Paris where she will be walking in a runway show for L’Oreal over the weekend.
The way they were: ‘I think she didn’t want to have the show turn into about her, her surgery or her look. It was about the quality of the performance,’ said Robert Redford
That fashion show got not mention earlier in the day however when Megyn sat down with the icon, and in an ill-advised and poorly conceived move, decided to ask the 79-year-old actress to detail the plastic surgery she has had done over the years.
‘You, you’ve been an example to everyone, on how to age beautifully and with strength. And unapologetically,’ began Megyn, nervously drawing out her question.
‘You admit you had work done. I think it’s to your credit. You look amazing. Have you … why did you say .. I read you felt you’re not proud to admit you had work done, why not?’
At that moment a steely Fonda stared Megyn straight in the eyes and very firmly asked: ‘We really want to talk about that now?’
Megyn tried her best to salvage the question, with Fonda at that point glancing over to her guest Robert Redford in disbelief that she was being asked that question while out promoting the pair’s new film, ‘Our Souls at Night.’
‘Well, one of the things people think about when they look at you, is how amazing you look,’ said Megyn.
A composed-as-ever but noticeably chilly Fonda at that point demurred: ‘Thanks. Good attitude. Good posture. Take care of myself.’
She then took control of the interview from Megyn by telling the host: ‘Let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, ‘Our Souls at Night,’ rather than plastic surgery.’
Redford then looked at his co-star and showed his support for her by laughing and saying: ‘Back to that, huh.’
Fonda then launched into her own talk about the film, no longer waiting or wanting to take one of Kelly’s questions.
Fonda and Redford at the premiere of their film on Wednesday
‘You kind of have a choice in life, when you get to be close to 80, or even before then, what you want to do with your life. And my character, Addie, in this movie, she knows there’s a lot more time behind her than in front,’ explained Fonda.
‘And she doesn’t want to go down lonely and scared. She’s been a widow, living in this house by herself. And she’s lonely and scared. And she’s a shy person, who is not someone who would normally do this. But she girds her loins and decides…’
Redford jumped in saying: ‘That’s where I come in. You need to be girded.’
The actor later sang the praises of his co-star, who he previously worked with on such films as ‘Barefoot In the Park’ and ‘The Chase.’
‘One of the things I like about Jane that’s manifest in this film, is she is a force. As long as I’ve known Jane, she always has been moving forward. And doesn’t look back,’ said Redford.
‘And whatever pain, whatever problem she’s had in the past, remains in the past. And she keeps moving forward. It’s an admirable quality. And few people have it like Jane does.’
The rest of the interview was a wash, with Megyn getting no response from Fonda when she launched into a bit about how she was an aerobics instructor for 10 years shortly after the actress released her bestselling exercise tapes.
And to close it all out, Fonda drove home just how little she cared for Megyn’s questions and how proud she was of her looks and how she has aged when the host asked her guests: ‘On behalf of our audience member, Victoria wanted to ask, if you could go back to any age in your life, what would it be? I ask that to both of you.’
Fonda very curtly replied: ‘Right now. I wouldn’t want any other time.’