AARP Eye Center
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is looking to learn a thing or two from those who paved the way before her — starting with none other than Jane Fonda.
In the series premiere of Louis-Dreyfus’ new podcast, Wiser Than Me, from Lemonada Media, the Emmy Award–winning Seinfeld actor chats up Fonda, who dishes on everything from body image to plastic surgery to regrets.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.
“We just don’t hear enough about the lives of older women,” says Louis-Dreyfus, 62. “When women get older, they become less visible, less heard, less seen, in a way that, really, it just doesn’t happen with men. We are ignoring the wisdom of, like, more than half the population.”
And wisdom is something the 85-year-old Fonda is full of. “Spiritually and mentally and psychologically, I’m way younger,” says Fonda, sporting a top by Lululemon. “One of the things that I’ve learned as I’ve gotten into serious old age is when you’re inside it as opposed to looking at it from the outside, it’s not nearly as scary.”
Fonda, who chatted with AARP The Magazine in February ahead of the release of her latest comedy, 80 for Brady, says to “stay fit. I move a lot. I just finished a workout.” The “operative word,” says the aerobics pioneer, is “ ‘slow.’ … I do kind of the same moves, but slowly and with less weight.
“I appreciate my body,” says Fonda. “I don’t criticize it and hate on it anymore, but I live alone. … I don’t have to show it to anybody. I’m vain enough so that it would be hard for me to get naked in front of [someone]. Not if I lived with somebody for 50 years — which I wish that had been my fate — but, you know, I wouldn’t be able to get undressed in front of a new lover. No. I’ve got too many nicks and, you know, scars and holes and all kinds of things. I mean, I’ve got two fake hips, and a fake knee and a fake shoulder, and even a fake thumb.”
As for plastic surgery, Fonda says she is “sorry to say” she has had it. “I wish that I had been able to grow old at peace with my face, but I wasn’t able to. I don’t feel good about it, it’s not real, but I can’t do anything about it now.”
Women, she notes, are held to much different standards than men when it comes to aging: “Their jowls are hanging, and nobody cares!”
Speaking of men, you won’t find Fonda coupled up anytime soon — or ever again, for that matter. “I, unfortunately, don’t think that I can totally be myself in a romantic relationship with a man,” she says. “I’m not willing to try again. … I don’t have it in me.” Fonda has been married three times, most recently to Ted Turner.
Female friendships, however, are something she has in no short supply. “I never knew it,” she says about the importance of having close girlfriends. “It was only when I was older. … From the very beginning of my life, as far as I was concerned, if I’m going to make it through life, I’m going to hitch my wagon to my father’s star, or some other man’s star.”
More From AARP
Halle Berry Gets Naked at 56 and Mocks Her Young Troll
The Oscar winner defended her nude tweet against an ageist antifeminist critic
The Curious Mind and Singular Success of Diane Keaton
How the star of stage, screen — and, now, social media — has remained an icon for more than 50 years
Jamie Lee Curtis Seizes the Day at 64
The 2023 AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award winner shares what she’s learned in 45 years of stardom