PARIS (AFP) ― Veteran Hollywood actress Jane Fonda, returning to the screen in a French film about a band of friends in their 70s, said making the movie was on her “bucket list” of things to do before she dies.
Set for release next Wednesday, “Et si on Vivait Tous Ensemble” (Why Don’t we all Live Together?) tells of a group of friends who decide to move in together, to share the joys and challenges of old age.
It is Fonda’s first French film since the 1972 release, “Tout Va Bien,” by the New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard.
“You know the expression ‘bucket list,’” she told RTL radio in an interview, conducted in fluent French. “When you are old, you draw up a list of all the things you want to do before you die.”
Jane Fonda. (AFP-Yonhap News)
“I wanted to shoot another film in French ― I couldn’t die before making at least one film in French.”
The actress and one-time fitness guru, who turns 74 next month, said the movie by Stephane Robelin touched on many of the issues she tackles in a new book: how it feels to grow older, and sex among people in their sunset years.
“When you are outside old age, looking in, it is terrifying,” she said.
“But as I entered my 60s and 70s, I realised I have never been happier.”
“Firstly I am in love, I have a lover. And second I have my health,” said the actress. “I also have a very positive attitude.”
Like her character in the film, Fonda is as outspoken as ever about sex.
“You don’t have to stay sexual in old age, but for those who want to you have to keep your body sexual ― you have to think about masturbation for example,” she said.
And the actress also has in common with her character a concern to prepare for ― even plan ― her own death.
“She orders her own coffin, she wants it to be a joyous ceremony, with everyone drinking champagne. I am completely in agreement with that. I am not afraid of dying.”
“I often think about the end ― about how I want it to be. I want to be surrounded with love, with my children, my grand-children, my friends. I want to say a few wise words.