Jane Fonda on Romance and Working Out at 85

From a Wall Street Journal story by Marshall Heyman headlined “Jane Fonda on Romance, Hot Dogs, and Working Out at 85”:

SHE MIGHT be one of the leads of 2018’s surprise hit romantic comedy “Book Club,” but Jane Fonda has never actually been in a book club. “I’ve had my books read at book clubs,” said the actor and activist, whose most recent memoir, 2020’s “What Can I Do?” is a call-to-action about climate change.

Opening this weekend, “Book Club: The Next Chapter” follows Ms. Fonda and her friends (played by Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Keaton) on a raucous trip to Italy and, like its predecessor, showcases the Oscar winner’s less serious side. Humor is a facet Ms. Fonda has explored in earnest over seven seasons of the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” and in this year’s comedy “80 for Brady,” another box-office success that saw Ms. Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno and Lily Tomlin head to the 2017 Super Bowl.

More than four decades after the release of her first blockbuster aerobics video, “Workout,” Ms. Fonda still exercises daily. And after living in the spotlight for 60-plus years, the thrice-married-and-divorced actor has a sense of humor about life and love these days. She doesn’t see another long relationship in her future, but that doesn’t bother her. “I’m heading into 86. Nothing is going to be long,” Ms. Fonda said from her home in Los Angeles. “I’ve made peace with that.”

Here, she extols the virtues of yoga pants, kosher hot dogs, comfy shoes and taking it slow.

First thing in the morning, I play: Wordle. Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen got me into it. It’s the only word game or puzzle I’ve ever done. I always get the word, but the other day I got it on the first try.

When you’re 85, you have to: do things slowly or you’ll get hurt. I work out everyday—one day I work my arms, and the next I work the back of my body. I have a trainer who specializes in people over 50, and she’ll come to the house two or four times a week. I have weights and attach resistance bands to my banister. If, 10 years ago, I’d looked at what I do today, I’d say, “Are you kidding me? What a wuss!” Yes, it’s a lot easier, but it’s keeping me healthy.

My closet is: big and organized by purpose. Shiny clothes go in one section. Going-to-lunch-but-not-dressed-up goes in another. Evening clothes go here. I’ve always been pretty organized.

Yoga pants are: great because they don’t have buttons or zippers. You can just pull them on. I wear them with a sweatshirt when I’m home, grocery shopping or out for a walk. I like Athleta yoga pants, but most of mine were my costumes on “Grace and Frankie.”

I’ve hardly bought any: new clothes in years. I wear the same things, and my size hasn’t changed. It’s better to get a few good things that hold up than a lot of cheap stuff. I’ve had the same coat for 40 years. It’ll never wear out. It keeps me dry and warm. It’s black and nondescript. I can disappear into it.

Every day I put on: a pair of Marco Bicego gold earrings. They’re very simple, burnished and about the size of my thumbnail. It’s the only jewelry I wear.

One of my best friends was wearing: the greatest perfume, so I got it too. It’s Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady by Dominique Ropion. It’s fabulous. There’s definitely a musky, sexy pheromone.

My favorite shoes are: comfortable ones. I wore a pair of white, fake-alligator Freda Salvador shoes with a strap in the back during a recent photo shoot. They were so comfortable I bought them in black.

I read: about three books a week, and a lot of those books focus on climate. Occasionally, I’ll read a novel. “Ministry for the Future,” by Kim Stanley Robinson, is about the climate crisis. It’s very intense, but it’s hopeful. Also, “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers, is a remarkable book.

I used to love: the Ritz in Paris. I loved the sheets, the beds, the service, the food, the smell, the bar. But I don’t go there anymore. It’s too expensive.

I recently binge-watched: “Love and Death” on HBO Max. I don’t necessarily like true crime, but I was blown away by the acting.

At least once a day I: meditate. I’ve studied Zen Buddhism and Transcendental Meditation, but what I’ve settled on is a mantra I repeat for 20 minutes. Very often solutions to problems arise while I’m meditating. I can’t tell you what the solutions are. They’re too personal.

Before I go to bed, I take off: whatever is on my face, whether it’s makeup or dirt. I’m always looking for makeup remover that won’t make my eyes burn. I’m still researching. I had cancer recently, and nobody told me that chemo f**ks with your skin. I realized, My God, I’m growing barnacles. So I’m paying more attention to what I’m putting on my face.

If I drink: I’ll have a vodka martini with Chopin vodka. I don’t drink much because I want to use every day I have left. If I have even one martini, I have to write the next day off.

The best pizza is: at Pizzana in Brentwood, Calif. Yes, I eat pizza. I get a truffle pie. I love truffles.

It’s heresy but: I love a really good kosher hot dog. I know they’ll take a half-hour off your life. The ones at the stadium where the Kansas City Royals play are good, too—but they’re not kosher.

I ate so much: ice cream while filming in Italy. We all did. At home, I’ll have a vanilla Dove bar with dark chocolate, and I love sea-salt caramel Talenti gelato.

Relationships are: hard. I never really knew what a good one was supposed to look like. I know what it takes, but am I capable of it? No, I don’t think so. I was with some incredible men. I wish I had been able to hang in there longer. I also chose men who were challenging. I think I’m over romance, and I’m sad. I was with some gorgeous men in Italy, but I was not tempted.

I’d like to visit: Lapland in Finland. I would like to talk to the reindeer herders and watch them work and see what’s happening to the melting ice and snow. And I’d like to see the Aurora Borealis. I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

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