Jane Fonda is at TIFF to promote her new film, the family dramedy This Is Where I Leave You.
She’ll spend the next couple of days walking down red carpets and doing interviews, but not doing something she loves — going to the gym.
“If I had my choice I certainly would,” she says. “I walked past it and I sort of salivated, but it’s back to back to back. There’s no time. I sleep eight or nine hours a night and I don’t have time between the interviews and sleep.”
The Oscar-winning star of On Golden Pond, Klute and Coming Home is no stranger to the press circuit, but she says times have changed.
“Honey, back in the day, let me tell you what it was like,” she says.
“You would get on a plane alone — forget the hair and makeup and PR person — and fly to Des Moines and Kansas City and Denver and you’d cut ribbons inaugurating an orphanage, do the Police Gazette Parade, the Dick Clark Dance. You did radio. You had to go to them and had to do the weirdest things. It was hard. This seems easy. Those young ones are spoiled. They don’t know what it used to be like.”
When I ask if answering the same press junket questions over and over ever wears her down she says, “I’m an actor! It’s why I get the small bucks.”
In the film, she plays a best-selling author of self-help books and the mother of a dysfunctional family that gathers for the father’s funeral. She’s an outrageous character, the kind of person who wonders whether she should tip the coroner.
“I read the script, it was laugh-out-loud funny and this woman was fabulous,” she says. “I totally identify with her. I have no borders, porous boundaries. I share way too much.”
Like her character, she has had self-esteem issues, even though she is almost as well known as a workout guru as she is for her acting.
“I never have been (happy with my body image), so you teach what you need to learn. Working out helped me come to peace with my body. I grew up being told that I was fat, and I had to work very hard to overcome that. And if I said I was 100 per cent over that, I’d be lying.”