Jane Fonda Receives L.A. Press Club's Visionary Award

Jane Fonda Press Club H 2012

Jane Fonda Press Club H 2012

Robert Redford and Jeff Daniels precede the actress and activist on stage at the Los Angeles ceremony.

Jane Fonda says a part of her was surprised to receive an award from the Los Angeles Press Club, given her confrontational relationship with journalists during her activist days.

"When I hear the name L.A. Press Club, I think of the '70s -- and the reporters were so hostile. I could feel the hate coming to me in a wall," Fonda said after receiving the club's inaugural Visionary Award. "And now I'm getting an award from the Press Club.

"Of course, all those old guys are dead."

According to the Press Club, its Visionary Award is given to someone in the entertainment industry who "uses their high-profile status to make the world a better place and to spread information about issues of freedom and social importance.” The award was given during the Press Club's National Entertainment Journalism Awards, during which The Hollywood Reporter earned eight awards including best publication, best website and entertainment journalist of the year. Janice Min, THR's Editorial Director, also received the NEJ Luminary Award for Career Achievement.

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After video tributes from Jimmy Buffett and Ted Turner (whom Fonda later called "my favorite ex-husband"), Jeff Daniels, her co-star on HBO's The Newsroom, serenaded her with a song he wrote for the occasion. 

"She's sexy and smart and very, very fit… Did I mention she's fit?" Daniels sang, while picking out the tune on an acoustic guitar. "I cannot tell a lie. I fell in love with Jane Fonda in 'Abs, Buns and Thighs.'"

Robert Redford, a frequent Fonda co-star, was next at the podium.

"There's the great career, the activism," Redford said. "Even though she's been through these difficult times, she's still standing -- and more than that, still moving forward.

"I'd like to dub her Jane of Arc."

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In a short speech, Fonda called out her friends in the audience -- Daniels, Sam Waterston, Melanie Griffith and Lily Tomlin -- and said, "I can't tell you how moved I am for this award."

Then, in a "lightning round" Q&A with NBC 4 anchor Robert Kovacik, Fonda touched on a variety of topics:

-- On which Academy Award contenders she's watched so far, Fonda said she's seen two: The Intouchables, France's foreign language entry, and Rust and Bone.

-- On her greatest regret in life: "Sitting on that gun in North Vietnam. I'll go to my grave with that one."

-- On her favorite projects: The Dollmaker and On Golden Pond.

-- On what trait her ex-husbands had in common: "An inability to be intimate." Then, as the audience laughed, Fonda added: "That doesn't mean sex."

-- And finally, on the career move she regrets: "I've made a lot of bad movies, but I try to live my life so regrets will be minimized."