'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Jane Fonda ('Grace and Frankie')

Jane Fonda - Getty - H 2016
Getty Images

Jane Fonda - Getty - H 2016

"I think the second season is way better than the first," says Jane Fonda, the legendary actress of Grace and Frankie, the Netflix comedy series in which she stars opposite Lily Tomlin, as we sit down to record an episode of the 'Awards Chatter' podcast on the Paramount lot in Hollywood.

The 78-year-old has just participated in a read-through of the first episode of the show's recently announced third season, and she thinks the show — the co-creator and showrunner of which is Marta Kaufman (Friends) — is only getting better. Though always in-demand, Fonda says she intends to stay with Grace and Frankie for "as long as it'll take us."

Fonda also ventures into a number of topics she doesn't often discuss, including "what really happened in Hanoi" in the summer of 1972 when she was photographed atop an anti-aircraft gun, and the "myths" and "ignorance" that have bubbled up since. She discusses how she and her father found a measure of peace and understanding through their collaboration on On Golden Pond (1981) and why, back in 1984, she disregarded the "rule" that movie stars don't work on TV and made The Dollmaker as a TV movie. She also reveals the real reason why, following the release of 1990's Stanley and Iris, she retired from acting for 15 years only to return again at age 65 in 2005's Monster-in-Law.

Now in her third act, Fonda says she has fallen in love with acting all over again and feels Grace and Frankie is the perfect vehicle for her.

"Hollywood is not particularly kind to older actresses," she notes. "I wanted to give a cultural face to older women." She does that on Grace and Frankie — and, she says with a smile, she'll do it again next fall with Redford when they make their fourth film together, a romance called Our Souls at Night.