Robert Redford, Jane Fonda on Reuniting (for Sex Scenes) in 'Our Souls at Night'
During a press conference at the Venice Film Festival, the two also discussed staying hopeful in today's political climate.
Jane Fonda and Robert Redford reunite in Our Souls at Night as a widow and widower who bond to combat their mutual loneliness after decades of living in the same town with little interaction. Directed by Ritesh Batra, the film is debuting at the Venice Film Festival — where they're also being honored with Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement — and will be released on Netflix on Sept. 29.
Our Souls at Night is the actors' fourth collaboration onscreen because, as Redford told reporters, "I wanted to do another film with her before I died.”
Fonda further explained, "When I made the last film with him, the Sundance Institute was just beginning, and now what he created has really changed American cinema in the most profound ways. I wanted to be able to spend time with him and see what he has become."
She also added, "Plus, I wanted to be able to fall in love with him again. In Barefoot in the Park, I couldn’t keep my hands off of him. I was constantly forcing myself on him. In Our Souls at Night, the dynamic of my character to his character was somewhat similar. I just love the fact that these films bookend our careers. We played that young love just getting married and now we play old people love and old people sex. Although, In my opinion, Ritesh cut the sex scene too soon."
"He doesn’t like sex scenes,” Fonda then said, pointing at Redford. “I live for sex scenes! He’s a great kisser. It was fun to kiss him in my 20s and then to kiss him again in my almost 80s.” She said of Redford's character in Our Souls at Night, "Louis has been a fantasy of mine for a long, long, long time.” (Batra then joked that because of the scene's brevity, the full cut will be on Netflix film's DVD extras.)
When asked how love changes as one gets older, Redford responded, “It just increases.” Fonda, who explores this topic in-depth on her show Grace and Frankie, was more vocal on the topic. “First of all, we’re braver,” she said. “What do you have to lose? So my skin sags… so does his. You know your body better, so you’re not afraid to ask for what you need. I think on a love and sex level, it just gets better.”
Redford also reminisced about his first film with Fonda, 1966's The Chase. “From my point of view, things with Jane have always been easy,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed being with someone where things just fall into place and don’t require a lot of discussion. There’s a love there and there’s a connection there.”
Redford and Fonda are not only being honored at Venice for their onscreen careers, but also for their lifelong roles as activists. While Redford declined to speak about politics at the festival, he did comment on the current climate in America today. “I can only think that there’s hope in the future. I think that’s the only thing we can count on,” he said. “Because right now I don’t think we have a great deal of hope, as much as we should have. So I think if we can put our minds together in the future and think, 'Okay, where can we go that has hope?', I think that’s a healthier way to be.”
“I think the most important thing is saving the planet and that means there needs to be a lot of changes especially in our country,” noted Fonda. “If all of us did everything we can, [we can] try to stave off climate disaster.”
“And if we care about future generations to come, we have a responsibility. There’s only one planet,” echoed Redford. “It’s already been chewed up for a whole lot of reasons, for development. If we cared at all about future generations, our children and their children to come, I think we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to preserve what’s left of this planet.”