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Jane Fonda says she wants to prove 'old folks can be involved' in political activism

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·3-min read
Jane Fonda marches at Greenpeace USA Brings Fire Drill Fridays To California on March 06, 2020. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda marches at Greenpeace USA Brings Fire Drill Fridays To California on March 06, 2020. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Jane Fonda says one of the reasons she’s still so heavily involved in political activism, especially around climate issues, is to prove that “old folks” still have a part to play.

The 82-year-old two-time Oscar winner told Harper’s Bazaar she is inspired by the way young people have taken up political causes and said celebrities have a duty to speak out.

Referring to prominent activists such as Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, Fonda said that older generations “need to be inspired by them and listen to them”.

Read more: Fonda on protesting and plastic surgery

“Young people have often been in the leadership of movements,” she said. "I don't have much of a future left. Older people don't have much of a future.

“Kids have their whole lives in front of them. They see what we've done to their futures and they're righteously angry."

Watch: Fonda says climate activism saved her from depression

Fonda has been involved in various causes throughout her life, including women’s rights and anti-war protests, as well as fighting the climate crisis.

Now, the octagenarian says climate is the most important issue as it “affects everything else” and “without solving that, nothing else really matters”.

Read more: Fonda slams Me Too accused attempting to make comebacks

This year, Fonda has been attending weekly Fire Drill Fridays protests, which she organised along with Greenpeace, in Washington, DC.

Fonda added: “I wanted to show that old folks could be involved as well.

“I knew that people would say: ‘Well my god, she’s 82. If she can do it, why can’t I get out there?’ And it worked.”

Greta Thunberg is interviewed during a "Fridays for Future" protest in front of the Swedish Parliament Riksdagen on October 9, 2020. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)
Greta Thunberg is interviewed during a "Fridays for Future" protest in front of the Swedish Parliament Riksdagen on October 9, 2020. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)

Fonda said it was wrong for celebrities to take a back seat when they could use their voices to really bring important issues to people’s attention.

“When someone famous takes a stand, people notice,” she said.

Read more: John Boyega worried BLM speech could damage his career

The star added: “The metaphor that I use is 'repeaters'. You'll see in the top of towers these tall, strong antenna.

“Their purpose is to pick up signals from the valleys and lift them up so they can get over the mountain and reach a greater audience. That's what celebrities are: we're repeaters."

Jane Fonda attends Fire Drill Friday on February 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Morgan Lieberman/WireImage)
Jane Fonda attends Fire Drill Friday on February 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Morgan Lieberman/WireImage)

Fonda has now written a book, entitled What Can I Do?, in which she explains her beliefs about the climate emergency and the ways forward she thinks are possible.

Read more: Roland Emmerich says Hollywood should focus on climate crisis

Away from activism, Fonda has continued to be a prominent figure on the big and small screens, most notably earning an Emmy nomination for her role in the Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie.

On the big screen, she co-starred with Robert Redford in Our Souls at Night and played one of four women reading 50 Shades of Grey as part of a reading group in 2018 comedy Book Club.

Meanwhile, plans remain afoot for her to rejoin Dolly Parton and Grace and Frankie co-star Lily Tomlin for a sequel to classic comedy 9 to 5.

Watch: Fonda encourages America to vote with workout video