« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1014 - Jane Fonda

2019-04-29 | 🔗

Jane Fonda is still acting and is still an activist, two constants in her entire adult life. But as she tells Marc, Jane spent a lot of her life thinking she was a worthless person. Carrying the twin burdens of her mother’s suicide and a strained relationship with her father, Jane talks about why she gravitated throughout her life toward strong men, how she struggled with her own compulsive behavior, and what finally happened to convince her that she was worth it. Jane and Marc also talk about the real reason she started making workout videos, what current issues she believes need our urgent attention, and why she feels like she has a real handle on acting for the first time in her life as part of Grace and Frankie. This episode is sponsored by Ramy on Hulu, SiriusXM, and Leesa.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
hey folks don't miss who lose all new original series rami now streaming only on hulu based on the real life experiences of comedian rami yousef this groundbreaking comedy series takes viewers into the world of a first generation muslim american cop between any gyptian community that things life is a moral test and the millennial generation that things wife has no consequences all at this loads of rami are now streaming only on hulu hi yeah let's do the show all right let's do this how are you what the what the buddies what the fucking what the fuck stirs what's happening and this is my podcast it sound i've got the new mixer my old mixer crap doubt i've had that mixer forever ten years on that thing i don't
what to do with it i'm thinking about creating some sort of art piece i'm thinking about mounting the old mixer on a board the original man stir locks from the garage and maybe uh sure we going to create my own little small curated exhibit representing v the origin and history of this this show and that would be that mixer and box on the garage and a picture that would be the whole exhibit i can't yeah would be easy to tour with i'll write a nice information card for the exhibit then maybe have maybe i can put some photos there's a bunch of photos done at the garage before i got out of there so we tour with it i'll write one note card i'm not going to i know feels like to go to a museum have to do a lot of reading before
exhibit the information that sets it up historically i'll keep it real brief one paragraph at there's garage a lot of people came to it we talked to him there was filled with clutter got dusty sometimes the president it's here this was the lock on the door that you locks the original mixer that everybody who came into that garage spoke enjoy the show so jane fonda is here today and that was daunting for me wasn't daunting i mean it's always dawn i talk to somebody who's had a tremendous career i mean jane fonda was a movie star by the time i was born really an e card forget maybe a maybe you're not like me or maybe you don't put it into contacts just what a by great actress she is i mean
i went back and watched movies that i'd never seen before from the 60s and just like us sounding i don't know when the last time you watch they shoot horses don't they i don't know when the last time you watch that was but what a weird insane good movie i actually talk to the duzer of this movie of they shoot horses don't they on thursday irwin winkler is going to be here another guy that's had this fifty year career and it's just a little it's a little intense so yeah got it in an hour or so jane had other things to do but i went back i why coming home i watch they should horse don't they but i watch klute which i'd never seen before and maybe i saw when i was a kid and i'm alan j pakula fan he did i believe he did the parallax view and he did all the president's men early on but clute the it shot the way bills donner donald sutherland jane fonda just her acting
astounding and it's so beautiful the the in the time it was made it was like must've in nineteen i don't know i could probably find exactly one thousand nine hundred and seventy one so it's one of those great early 70s movies but i could believe yet you know what i was witnessing in terms of your what jane for i was putting out there but it was real honor to talk to her i'll talk talk to you about a little more in a minute but i'll get you up to speed honestly i ran out of cashews and i hi not all of them i mean planet i'm not there any cash is if there are don't tell me maybe it's bad i don't know that there are more cashiers because a not i think i'm getting i'm getting done from the nuts yeah we from the nuts is what i said and i think that that's a t shirt
now yeah from the nuts what does that mean it is very slow it can only mean one thing when you think about it but as phrase he travels i think there's a poetry to it but if you wtf dot com you get on the mailing list i do put some effort into creating a newsletter for you people every week so if you want to get that you can you can also see my upcoming tour dates which are still happening everything is still moving forward i have not shifted out of my tour dates it's all happening i i believe tickets are still are selling good i'm gonna be in madison wisconsin may twenty third through jeez the twenty fifth maybe vermont that sold out june sixth through eighth i'm going be in sync who is most likely june thirteen through fifteen i don't a lot of people in saint louis and i know that robin
carolina august first through august third ocean in revolution hall in portland oregon on august ninth is sold out we added a second show on august tenth still tickets for that majestic theater in dallas august 22nd paramount theater in austin august 23rd third center in houston august twenty fourth vogue theatre in vancouver september six more here in seattle september seventh the vic in chicago september twentieth masonic temple in detroit timber twenty one pant cages minneapolis september 22nd seconds right k my last special the merriam theater in philly october tenth the kennedy center in dc to overlap the shubert in boston massachusetts october 12th for two shows and a special taping the james k polk nashville on the october 18th sep that's v october 18th the i did say that
tabernacle in atlanta on october 19th and masonic in october 26th in san go and then i will retire there is a toronto date coming i can't announce yet the tickets aren't on sale because it's in collusion is that it is that that that the hot word i'm colluding with toronto with a festival in order to do the show so i don't have the date not yet well update about my state of mind a little better i i i'm stubborn folks i'm a stubborn old man and i've had enough of it in a lot of ways in a lot of it is really just that simple just stubbornness why don't i meditate i don't know because it's silly why you know people are now getting on me about the definition of mindful why am i not really activating mindfulness i don't know because it's so just sort of like trendy
white why am i not i definitely exercise i eat pretty well cashews man so many so cashews now got a bag of all down there i'm buying dates because i'm making my own almond milk i put the dates in and then i eat ninety of them i'll buy a box of dates from trader joe's and i don't know so i think i'm fooling i'll be right now i'm not really eating these why are they gone in three days why my from nuts and yeah why but but yeah i'm going i started therapy the other day we're going to do some em dr therapy again that's the thing where you know it did kind of scrambles your brain a little bit so you can get right in there to be a minute and i'm at that and make it may go yeah and that that would be how do you say to me giggle yeah does that the degree to do that degla dude you do in the brain and you get in between that your trauma and your behavior and it scrambles
a little bit and kind pulls the link out something like that but you gotta hold answers in the bylaws in your like come on man was i born yesterday where was this years ago what is this with the buzzer is one of my dom is is what am i scientology stress tests where we at with this come on and these cans either just cancelled the wires but it apparently is been quite successful with that posttraumatic and what not so i'm doing a little of that we'll see how it goes some he just doesn't believe i deserve to be doing well i don't deserve to succeed some part of me where can i can we can we shift the tweet where is the link between that belief in the reality or just like can we just exercise that particular piece of malignant perception self perception can we mindfully rip that out of my fuckin' brain people can we do that
i complaining the world is ending you know we're doing all right some of us anti semites man seriously stay strong jews jesus christ this president is really opened a portal to hell and we're living in it but you know i'm going to try to be mindful and try to meditate a little bit going to do emdr m d configure my brain and do the best i can that's the thing when you get overwhelmed what can you do you are cashews apparently folks if don't know siriusxm then listen up siri x m you the deepest variety of commercial free music for every genre for every mood but it doesn't stop music series
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how been alright i was at the comedy store all weekend tightening up some things i go on the road i do the hour and a half hour forty five to go to the comedy store i do the fifteen minutes you know i try to tighten up some things it's weird man it's weird what i do sometimes someone give me some advice maybe kind of reconfigure a joke a little bit neil brennan neil brendan is always reliable for the tight joke advice comes out to me it's like why don't you try it like this and i'm like yeah my first here's the thing me in general is my first reaction i know you might not know this about me but generally if somebody suggests something might in eight reactions like i don't know that now why no but but i deeper i'm sort of like really think that would make it better but i still like how why does it take me to steps to just go okay i will embrace that idea and see if it works for me as opposed
braun who are you what stop it but yeah it's it's it's kind of fun now that i'm sort of see my hour of material evolving and coming together to kind of like your tight knit in think through some things try some new stuff take some new risks my brains been kinda fuckedup all week and i read this new i read a book man death stating book that's not out yet maybe i should talk to her eve ensler the she vagina monologues and several other books has written a book the apology which will be out i think next month i got some sort of press advance copy and what just fucking devastating deep horrible painful cathartic investigation of the most of the worst type of toxic masculine
on a personal level her father and i don't want to go into a because maybe maybe i'll i'll talk to her but that what at what at that that's a brave book that's a courageous undertaking how she structured this book as a posthumous it's almost stream of consciousness apology from her father that abused her in every way and writing from limbo and it's like the sort of investigation and process of true evil with applied empathy without apologizing or without letting anybody off the hook was just devastating and haunting it was it was on the most powerful things i've read so maybe what i'll talk to her if i can if i can do that so will it's it's sometimes it's hard man jane fonda was not hard jane fonda
is one of the great actors and actresses i say actor in a general sense of all time an and oddly she's about my mom's age and she's i don't like my mom so there was this i had this she came to the house i had this immediate cut sheet he actually walks like my and they kind of look a little similar and it was just i had very strange innate connection just a her physicality and the way she moved was my mom but i was you know i was really honored to talk to her i mean you'll see you'll see response here today by lisa and the knows how important rest is to a better life lisa is the foundation of a healthier your you that's because all these products have been thoughtfully designed to
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it was a big one on golden pond with her father i she just just great so this is me talking to jane fonda so i'm very excited you're here i guess you're not gonna wear headphones tv to do right they're not really center is that allowed to live thing yeah yeah in a it's a panel yeah for a for grace and frankie right yeah so it so why we stayed in touch with lily tomlin like for since forever have you guys always been friends we became friends in nineteen seventy nine yeah when i was developing nine to five right and these a friend we've stayed friends yeah we support each others issues and yeah and do you like do socialize i always wonder that because i was you know
why should the documentary about you here it's like it's hard to either to sort of wrap my brain around that you know jane fonda as a cultural momentum figure you know and it's true you know you want to have a conversation but there's so much no lily i we socialize mine leslie right like i finally in my in my daughter now i have a house for just me yeah and there is somebody who takes care of the house and cooks yeah so i can have dinner parties zero for example i think the last time lily and her partner jane came over it was a dinner for judy chicago yeah they also had met years and years ago sure you know that's a fun kind of gathering yeah you know or the the the theater crew nick hilton i'll see from new yorker he came jane and
they came over to dinner so i i have them come over they never invite me to their houses the last time i was in their house was my to see my dog was about five so now fourteen yeah that's a long time ago and then you know i spent a lot of time for last two years at michigan working on one fair wage for restaurant workers yeah workers don't get a minimum wage they they they are in a lot less and then they're expected to live on tips right we're we're with an organization called restaurant opportunity centers we've been working all over the country to change that and have one fair wage one reason to do that is because in the in states that have one fair wage sexual harassment
is cut in half but and so let me give you my street cred because she come from detroit yeah and she was a waitress there and so i dragged her to michigan on on you know for weeks at a time yeah and that's in in that so when you say you do that like what what exactly when you when you go to do that work what would if all is it the same as all is in organizing is it's not gonna yeah i'm on the board i guess right opportunity center zan we so when lily comes we travel around the state and we raise money in each place grand rapids kalamazoo lansing whatever and and in people's homes you know just go you just show up yet we just go we show up james bond is in my house and lily tomlin you know grayson from a lot of support for grace and frankie i tell you what is a lot easier to do this when you have the hit series yeah yeah
then we do media yeah we do radio we sin claire is really where we do television to talk about it was a ballot initiative to go on to inquire yeah yeah yeah because there is i think aren't they kind of the bad guy well here's the people around the rations of you here in kalamazoo or grand rapids yeah who are all you know journalists for television journalist resigned claire they're not rabid rowdy all but sometimes they get demands from on high to say certain things but because i asked him about it but our experience with it discipline okay now if we can go back to like the i was kind of looking at the overview of of of what you achieve that i watch a documentary them for some reason yeah i did i realize i've never seen they shoot horses don't they well that's a good one yeah right yeah
and it seems that like culturally politically culturally in within the movie business that your life is sort of days is fine post of how all of its like guys do right yeah that that you know i mean you were in cap blue and five years later the entire industry change right i mean then all of a sudden you're shooting movies with that you know with ashby and and and with pollock and stuff in and then like on top of that you know in the in the documentary talk about how you realize your own authenticity so late in life now when back on it because now is an activist like you're doing this thing with the restaurant workers but you'll ply your your to any you you believe in however is necessary so when you think about what compelled you initially was when you 'cause you're very self aware and you've obviously done it no more right like you know but do you find when you think about the push back on
the generation your father came from that was also emotional yeah that your father represented something of an old guard in that you know that tension was created with your activism one of the sad things about that period and it wasn't just the vietnam war was a whole counter thing was what happened individual within individual families all across the country yeah right everywhere and the vietnam war only exacerbated that you know an i understood that my dad my dad was very opposed to the war yeah but his way of expressing it was to campaign for lyndon johnson yeah right and you know guys that he would campaign the guys they were always guys and white guys and then of course the war never ended that way but it was it wasn't a generational thing coupled with the problem just talking about him relation with the vietnam war the war
that he fought in the war that he understood what wars where you knew who was an enemy combatant yeah they were in uniforms and they were battle front lines drawn lines drawn yeah suddenly there's a war where the woman bringing you laundry could very well have a hand grenade right and you know where you you know a war where the basic people are against you yeah that's a whole different thing and it was very hard for him to wrap his head around that yet so it caused friction between us but i never we got mad at him he you know i remember in seventy i went to i think it was seventy i went to visit angela davis she was in prison here in california and when i got back he said to me if if i find out that you're a communist i'm gonna turn you win yeah and that you know that
i've never been ideological i wasn't a communist but i loved angela davis but he was very confused you know he just any worried about me here through the the mccarthy era yeah right and and and so he was worried that that i was going to get hurt so he had a fundamental belief just by nature and being in the way he was brought up in the system itself yeah he was a moderate yeah crash yeah not very passionately about things i mean he he would go out he he campaign for a year for stevenson i think what really related to me and what moved me was the emotional that of being brought up by narcissistic parents and parents with until the a problem because i have it and and like i do and what i identified with was that strange kind of missing think of self that we have to somehow put together over time i have to become your own parent yet
parent you put in place initially is never that great like like i read this thing do you like the reaction thing that blew my mind i by robert firestone by robert psychologist he said that if if your parents if you're not getting what you need for your parents you at when you're young you automatically assume it's your fault yeah right so the parent you put in place to replace them is the one that's going your terrable you're a piece of shit and that's what drives you yeah now did you find that for yourself yeah he you i thought that i was a worthless human being and it was very interesting how i dealt with it yeah i was ashamed of myself yeah i was proud of the life that i was living so i thought if pretend to be generous yeah maybe eventually i will become generous if i pretend to help
spine yeah maybe i will become brave i mean and you become what you do you know what i think it till you make it yeah for sure and you just knew that instinctively i just i don't know what else to do i don't like myself so i'm going to pretend to be a better person and i start to become a better person began then to conflict with the life i was living yeah you don't yeah so you know all along the way you have choices well do i continue living the life i'm living or do i try to proceed with trying to get better and be better right and when i chose the latter yeah but it took awhile right yeah so here's a here's what does it takes a long time i mean always essentially the same
person right that's why i my memoir was such an important thing and really the documentary was just of film version of my of my memoir you know when you write a memoir if you really dig down and really take the time you realize you know kind of what ts eliot said in the quartet poem you paraphrasing you spend your life exploring and at the end of all the exploration you're back where you don't you circle back where you started and know it for the first time and what i realized at the age of sixty three four five and writing my memoir is i had started out decent and brave via because you're on your own in a way yeah and and for girls you know the problem started puberty where you just want to fit in and mia the skinny and all those kind of things but
basically i was working my way around to come back to where i started only with more knowledge and stuff and acceptance of your past self yeah you have to forgive you have to forgive everybody including yourself yeah that's hard isn't it it's essential but it yeah it is hard it is hard and you can't do it until you really examine you know what i i'm i'm one of those typical liberals i always you know perpetrator but look what was done to him right right right so i always tend to want to forgive yeah well i think it's interesting too that the acting as if because when you when you have aren't they aren't fundamentally nurturing that there's a lack of like the inability to receive or give love indiana second nature you know you do to try until it sticks right yeah
the the the one thing that i realize now at the age of eighty one and a half you start to count half's when you get older like you doing your yeah is the one the thing that i could never totally yeah is ability to be in a relationship with the opposite sex you know that the one area i mean i've have healed and in a lot of different ways but i'm just good in relationships where where it like i find that i hit a wall where where i can't get over it like what is it that were there 'cause i mean you've been like i guess the memoir in the documentary you find yourself living in relationship to a lot of different men you know in that a lot of very very strong men yeah and who do you get started with after your father was at stroudsburg no
what was the team hello yeah with the marriages but like yeah i mean it seems like we strive for was a pretty important force in your life not really no no dt chad act though not really no but it just comes to fuckedup to learn anything at that time i mean i remember what he did for me was he said you have talent yeah in that was then it all happened way too quick yeah because i never really learned how to work right only started learning lately how do how to do the work what were you doing before trying yeah and sometimes it worked really well when you excel to become another person yeah there are levels that you can stop out right i
always know how to go really do i didn't know the questions to ask the tools he did not lead teach me what i needed to know their you know in a way i wish that i had studied in england and crossing the different kind of training right in a way but for the movies where i really did do well yeah coming home because i had spent three years talking to to the people whose lives have been impacted by the war the wives of soldiers who who went away one person and came back quite different you know there was the wife that said you know i talked to him and i feel like my voice goes down into an empty barrel and just echoes there's nobody there yeah i knew that story and so that's what allowed
to play that character yeah did klute clue was like they shoot horses don't they i just went i just said suck it i'm going to i'm going to i'm just going to go and go as deep as i can an take the things that i know to be true about myself and apply them to this character and it worked yeah i really kind of entered those people so that is a darkness yeah yeah yeah horses yeah yeah but i know that's just not always the case but now you know now i'm have a coach who's basically teaching me how to do the work right
what the time eddie so you know who cares but also you've never too late you've taken those risks though you've gone that deep with yourself so you know you have that ability to do that right right so it's accessible it's not a threat anymore i imagine early on it must have been frightening on some level no no no it would have been frightening for my dad that's why he hated so much that i want to acting class with lee yeah it just like you know acting class that's church therapy all those things hated them had really yeah but it required you to look into yourself and for some dad's fault it was the way he was raised and it was a certain generation of right especially from the midwest it was weakness witness right right right right yeah yeah yeah and then i never was that way it's just that i never had they were just certain roles that allowed me to do that and back in to me yeah in ways the annual it so it was a
it's so amazing to watch you in anything because you know it's it's like an invasion horses here and there was a lot of the actors that we're doing great work at that time but the difference between something like some of the more hollywood movies of an earlier time that would that really didn't offer you a window or portal to go that deep now this and that the the sort of art of it breaks open in guy it was it's a visceral and so like immediately moving we are i was basically a very unhappy first hey who happen to have gone barbarella right before that was the film i did prior to that yeah which is don't play and so people sort of thought of me as that person but you know they shoot horses i was coming more back to myself right right i was kind of a dark person i've actually overcome that yes goodbye seems like it it what it wasn't difficult for me to do it and
ok so we're getting back to these men and being in relation to men what you learned in where it stops i mean if it just i was trained from the get go to give it up for men you know just to give over and just can't hold my own i just can't yeah i you know now i know that and so i'm not going to be in a relationship again because i don't want to give myself over right because the it like it is the boundary i lose myself right right yeah my landry's are so i'm a i'm a colander yeah when i'm in a relationship with you know a full sexual relationship with a man yeah i you know it's it's it's a weird weird when that happens because like you can go on for years right and then all of a sudden you look at yourself you like when you get a year away from it like what the fuck was that when you somebody asked me the other day you how do you know it's not working and i said well when
the time starts to come it's usually about four years from the end when i start to fantasize their death well that's the truth aha it's better it's better yet for your fantasizing layers or not yet remarriages there's a pattern here fantasizing your own which is better no no i mean i still live and then i get to do what i want to do that and that's the that is the core of the of your family is really good if you're not fantasizing that you're the victim they're the ones who got to go yeah so would you like i imagine looking back on it like with video game with hayden and we're turner that yeah there were definitely lessons learned that made you a stronger person right at hand and not just by tolerating them but by what they had to offer listen i do not regret those three marriages yeah they were they were
utterly fascinating man and i learned a huge amount from all of them how's your french still i'm fluent still yeah and i'm an enough i'm always hi the wife after me the dean's wife yeah after me were like this we are so close a real hell yeah we just spent a week together and leona film festival we're very very close toms were life after me barbara yeah so close interesting i see her all the time and we love each other yeah how did those relationships involved they they all had good taste in women and and and i don't know i mean there interesting women and and it's just like they did they reach out to you how does a relationship like that have like where can we go over our experience just it's too personal i don't i don't want to talk about it but
deborah and i just found a kinship yeah we have a lot of things in common and then there's the sun here there is they tom and barbara had a son and tom was always worried that the sun wouldn't know exactly where he it ends so i feel a real response ability to keep a family unit together yeah including barbara and liam right and that's nice liam is the age of my yeah but that's okay yeah he's my for the five year old sons brother it the age of my grandson mean it's interesting but these are these are the families of today sure and you can i sort of know instinctively that when the end comes in it's not that far off could be twenty years but maybe not right when the end comes i'm going to want to know
that i kept us all together and when that like when did that impulse starting when i was when i when i saw my father die and i know that he was full of regrets that he was able to do the forgiving to do the facing up and the apologizing and the listening and the things that needed need to be said before it's too late when you can no longer talk yeah it's always the things you don't do you regret at the end i just know that and you know so i'm fortunate enough to not be afraid of dying i'm really afraid of dying with regret so i've you know the big epiphany for me when i hit sixty and knew that it was probably my last act yeah and the importance of lax act that i had to
spend this remaining time figuring out what my regrets would be you can't be eighty one and say oh my god i better start getting my life together you know what i mean you know i can't i make my life a lot no longer but i can make it wider and deeper and i have to start doing that now i set at sixty sixty yes and i deliberately did that's why i wrote my memoir yeah in what way in in in terms of looking back on their struggles io there you have with their risk the code you see right in the pressure of show business and when did the eating disorder start start yeah oh my god for gene are you school are all girls boarding school my best friend had been doing it and told me about it and i swear i thought only that the two of us were the only people besides the romans right because when we studied roman history discovered that that the romans used to do that binge and purge was it was it for for body image we it was totally i do
realize of course that a lot of with body in don't resort to that that it's i think that you see we're like chalice is all of and that chalice in the center of us and our solar plexus needs to be full ideally full of spirit of one oneness with others and with everything right right love and compassion and forgiveness and a sense authenticity that's what we're supposed to be filled with if we're empty here we're going fill it with depending on who we are booze drugs sex workaholism food whatever
mine was empty and i was filling it with food and i only was able to stop when i began to fill it with authenticity yeah and so that was a long time yeah what age did you really start to kick it i want turkey and i wasn't authentic yet but i was dying and so i just went cold turkey at about forty five to time and it's impossible to have a a true relationship if you are an addict of any kind you can't intel no you as long as you are an active addict right you can't have a real relationship not real one right not an authentic relationship right and why that is because you can never show up totally because you have this addiction yeah that always becomes the most important thing yeah and a essentially you have to hide the addiction so you're also lying and being an right and
but i stopped before i started the work out well thank you that was the other thing that i didn't realize we eat because i didn't know the nuances of your life they you know having you know been through you know protesting the vietnam war and and in the other the activism you were doing which took you know insane courage and you took a lot of hits for it and it seems like the the next or even the third generation of the people were originally tearing you down are now still doing it still an example of some kind of that ilk and that i didn't realize that when you were married to hayden that work out video was actually to to violent activism it was to fund the campaign for economic democracy when the war ended began to focus on the economy yeah which this is i'm talking in the in the late seventy s i actually it didn't become famous until the eighties but i actually started the work out around seventy eight an that
when it was becoming increasingly apparent the the corporate takeover of everything and so that's what we wanted to take on the notion of economic democracy and it was a state wide effort here in california is a big state and that was a recession yeah and i didn't know what to do because i was the main fundraiser and i read that member lyndon larouche sure the guy that paid people to hold terrible signs up the airport yeah the larue she's they're not around it really anymore there's something worse here now he funded the whole operation from a business is computer business yeah and i thought i got started this business yeah and it turned out to be that workout but you know i thought was amazing about that moment is that you're moving from you know other type of actors activism you were doing and then trying to fund this is that the direct personal engagement of primarily women with the impact
that was available through just that workout video which is easily it's easy to make fun of her trivialize on some level but it was felt it immediately that there were women that needed that yeah to take hold of their life yeah it's very interesting tom did not like the workout even though it funded the organization he did like it he felt it was a vanity project and was at the beginning of the end of that it was it was the beginning of the end of our marriage that's right just
things i was doing with things that didn't it didn't feel comfortable for him but before i actually opened the work out i'm teaching it in places like when i was in in saint george utah making electric forsman yeah and every night after we worked i have people would come in and i would teach the work out and they would come from miles away and they were not all women but mostly women but also members of the crew and right and the will come up to me after a few weeks and say i don't have to take sleeping pills anymore haha i don't have to take someone anymore uh stuff like that and then i would start getting letters once it became you about the videos and the records and one woman said to me i was able to stand up to my boss for the first time today right and that and then i began to realize ole i knew that this is much more than just being thin
it's you didn't know what initially well i know how it made me feel sure but it i wasn't i didn't think this is going to empower women when i started i was just i was the guy you remember delancey struble delancey st still exist john mayer who started delancey st was a close friend of mine in toms an we told him i said i'm trying to raise to start a business to run the campaign for economic democracy and he said never going to a business you don't understand uhhuh well that seriously narrowed for because exercise was really the only business i understood this is an forever and so that's what i did uh huh an look what happened amazing because i mean i didn't realize the m you really made exercise exercise videos decades yeah
kevin can wait twenty three of 'em yeah and you're sort of like without knowing it started that business for everybody to visit started the video business that's why i'm the only non engineer non scientists in the video all of fame and i thought like the other thing that i thought was interesting is that when you were making these movies with these guys in the 70s in the late 60s which were socially relevant movies meant to have a message or meant to push the envelope either artistically or otherwise philosophically some politically that they were kind of some of them are kind of out there and that would i thought was interesting in terms of your evolution as a producer was that you were able to come back and create narrative film that was appealing to you you know regular people that didn't require you know some sort of like you know would be ideal understanding of art that still had a powerful social message in and how like
this is where you have that trans well i was very conscious that if i'm going to make a movie about um soldiers that fought in vietnam there has to be it as to be something that someone would want to see even if they didn't agree right of war was wrong okay right so a sexy sexy love story yeah and at the time that love scene was probably the sexiest love scene than it ever been shot right if we're gonna make a movie about this is coming home that's coming home if we're going to make a movie about nuclear energy it's gotta be a thriller right if i'm going make a movie i see you know my one of my close friends was organizing so women office workers here are not spell and near i just decided i want to make a movie about it that it would to be a comedy right yeah right you know your
have to cloak it in a style that's going to be appealing to people even if they don't care about the issues were you frustrated with with with some of the movies that were made you know in the seventies that were more oblique such as if arthur penn does little big man as a response to vietnam on some level as a metaphor that you know the move away from you is that are confusing to like this is what's happening seem to be like a decisive thing does that make sense it doesn't make sense but i frankly had never thought about it i don't know i don't know because like that like you know the people that you work with is it cool as he says name and ashby and even like people like joseph losey who i didn't realize that you with huey was a big activist and liking paid the price for it but you know these guys were you know big intellectual artistic dudes and yeah i think i should be made very iaccessible movies though
yeah yeah totally you but it seemed like they were artists that right that like for a lot of reasons where you know sometimes you consumed the art of film to some degree with that wanting to get everybody on board right you know there was a certain friction yes a lot of friction between me and lousy yeah because he he was a lefty but it was not a feminist and it's a feminist movie and i've also delphian see reagan myself really objected to his rewrite of this and had a lot of fighting with him yeah it was not a good experience an with ashby how much of input did you have in there i'm coming well i had a lot i mean it was the concept was my idea yeah because of what i'd heard ron kovic said rallies here i may have lost my mind
i may have lost my body but i've gained my mind does it surprise you like now you know the the direction because i don't know people personally and i build a relationship with you people you know from your roles it does it prize you like that jon voight gone so far the other direction the it does yeah because he wasn't not all know he was one of comes in my biggest supporters and he would rally his hollywood friends to come and com slideshows he was my closest friend in hollywood net and i don't know why this is happened him have you talked to him about home maybe in two thousand and six was the time that i really he called me on the phone yeah started about the war in totaly terms that i just couldn't relate to and he wouldn't stop and i hung up oh wow it makes me so sad it's very
because the phenomenon of that now you like realizing here's somebody's done enough self examination and fought the fight to you have it has to be surprising as it is to me just how malleable people's minds are you know when they need closure or when they're afraid or when they're angry and like it a lot of what's happening today with a good chunk of the population is irrepairable in terms of their point view not a repairable and it's not a good chunk i think it's it's there is a chunk not a big chunk right that is a repairable right but there is another influx piece of the puzzle that's a piece that interests me a lot which is the middle america the scared the feeling forgotten an unseen scene
in class that used to have unions right kind of helping to define their perspective on things and don't anymore who voted for obama and then trump i think we cannot leave that fuzzy gray area out i don't know if we can win we yeah i don't know if democracy can win without them yeah eve if we can morally i don't think that we can about those people sure because the this is that the action that they've moved in is not in their interest so we have to do everything we can to help them understand that their interest don't lie there there also don't lie with the deals liberals right
and that's why we have to be sure that the person who runs our country next it's not a neo liberal not just not a republican trump type person but not a neo liberal someone who really cares about these people and cares about the value of work not just silicon valley work right but yeah sure labor yeah we can create jobs for everybody but be committed to it and end and when i got into a lot of arguments with my liberal friends progressive friends because they say no we have to spend all our time with the low hanging fruit the natural base the democratic party women and people of color yeah we can't be running time and money going after people who voted for trump right and i don't agree with that yeah yeah yeah each the kind of lines are drawn now and the people that i've talked to who
through nixon i mean there there's two kinds it say like well it will you know it was worse but a a snowman but it doesn't seem like no it's not worse and i'll tell you what gets a left out of this until very very like last week here's why it's well there's never been an existential threat to our democracy writer is right now because of nature of donald trump as a human being and who he has surrounded himself with but the bigger it's threat that would exist you know even without donald trump is climate sure this we've never had a ticking time bomb right now over arching every single thing that we do yeah that's never existed before didn't exist during the nixon time yeah that's a reality it is and you know so people can poop who the green the green new deal but but like that has to happen yeah i
at the core of what you're talking about in being a full stomach person and being somebody who has love and empathy and all that is that you know that the way that hopelessness s somehow turn to nihilism you know the hearts of people that have given up any sort of future in a way i just want to burn it all down yeah now you know there are there are there there there there are are are are shin fanatics were ready for the big burn for the yeah and days right and and in the air but no i i once had a boyfriend that was so unhappy and messed up and wounded that he liked war 'cause that he didn't feel alone mean that is a reality but you know i spent time i have canvassed in san diego i have canvassed in in the central valley in bakersfield and talk to people who are trump supporters and
have friends that have done that and they can they can be made to think if you talk to them as people might wanna know what eight s been talking to them but the politicians that to them and they human beings on the canvassers who talked to them without sunglasses on looking them in the eye and saying matters to you and why ok what are we going to do about it and you don't ever criticize trump and you don't ever criticize fox news you tell them something they don't know yeah no that's hi they can hear it goes and then you stay in touch and you explain this is really hard now and the only way we're going to do it is strength in numbers and guess what you're our guests at mia and i
fifteen people in this neighborhood and we're going to stay in touch with you and you do that and we do yeah so how do you i get to have our view for a for all this time you're able to separate you know to kind of make to how you you know how do you balance the yeah the acting and the the activism in the family i mean the easiest my kiss my family's grown up yeah and my gray kids are growing up yeah and i had your brother i'm not very good at balancing i was not a very good parent because i didn't know how to balance well enough although my kids are just fine yeah but you know now there's just me yeah and i work to earn money to do the the staff you know i'm gonna be dead soon but i just
i've learned a lot yeah and so much from tom hayden yeah about the importance of talking to people sure and work on the ground so i look for the organizations that have the best track record of doing on the ground work front door conversations yeah and the end in terms of like the art i you still love to act now i'm in a blast with grace and frankie because that seems to be like also the interesting thing is that that's right from the of the young of major activism that got you into you know that the the cross hairs of nixon in a very personal way and the in dealing with that pressure that when you show up on screen i mean i can tell in in less some stupid you you the it you love doing that i do and the i gone on and on some other level as a person not along the along with tom hayden but you work with your politics
i see work with auto preminger you work and actually work with all these men for a moment fred sentiment even like george cukor was it yeah in the and he was like he he was in a studio guy right you actually saw those guys try to adapt to the new thing now like when you look back on all that experience in your nature of boundary did you fine most of those to be learning experiences with these directors yeah no i feel lucky that i had all those experi they were great directors public like an amazing guy to me was he was an amazing guy zinnemann what a brilliant director yeah yeah and in all i mean it's so fun about acting every single day each individual of these are all guys but if they were women it would be the same thing they all call upon different muscles in your key as an actor so you know you're
this is a challenge to kind of create that marriage between you and the guy but you see because it's a limited there's uh the time frame then the whole dynamic is very different than it is in a marriage why are yours is going to be over in six mo yeah right yeah bye bye necessity or nowadays a month a month but i guess you have quit on right yeah and in your house your relationship with robert redford admire him very very much i think what he has done with sundance is just is just extraordinary ok and like what about people like donald sutherland oh god i haven't seen him really i haven't i don't i'd love to work with him again i haven't seen him in years and years it's a it's a weird for some reason like will with the your generation of actors i i just assumed everyone sort of hung out together
do you doubt via to know and i hang out together yeah and my costars from book club candy bergen diane keaton and merry stain version hi i talked to merry a lover i love that woman all my god she's just magic yeah i just love her deeply very full stomach hi in terms of the lab yes sir two hours yes she is the real deal yeah i had no idea i'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to make that movie and get to know our in in e in terms of like hollywood and in terms of this dynamic and feminism and patriarchy and having been in the business as long as you have been what is your feelings about the the me to move and necessary but yeah we where do you figure find yourself in in that discussion in the me two times does well i'm
my activism in that regard you always the farmworkers the domestic workers in the restaurant workers been to washington to lobby with them on things like and in sacramento doing away with statute of limitations doing away with forced arbitration not doing away with arbitration but make it a choice near but there's a financial stuff doing our time and equal pay and things like that because when you know the fact restaurant workers in seven states including california get one wage whatever other workers are getting minimum wage that's what they get plus tips that their tips and in those seven states sexual harassment is cut in half yeah which shows that there's a relationship between what a woman earns and how a man treats her dnia and so
the people that are the worst treated are the farm domestic workers and restaurant workers sure the women and so that's where i put my time yeah what about show business emmy been a long enough even with around enough for these type of of powerful men i mean other people are doing that mia in and i never had any experiences probably because my father was henry fonda or maybe i don't know i wasn't sexy enough for something but i never had i don't know if i never i never had that experience i had brother over here do you talk to him we email a lot yeah he was easy he's a interesting guy and you guys do you do you find think about yourself and about what you both grew up with that you know how you both you know i handled it i it's interesting that you e when i talk to him like he he spends not trying trying to rap his brain around his trauma and and you know it's an active fight for him even
it's age the do you a you find it interesting the way you both handled it in the that you handle the very differently do you help each other at all the lean on each other at all not as much as we should mmhm we have handled it differently yeah i think i've always felt that the child is the same gender as the parent has time i think it i think my father was harder on my brother then was on me and i think peter suffered a lot yeah he suffered a lot and i'm just not sure that he's gotten the kind of help that i have right because you i it seems like that your pursuit of social justice and your pursuit of authenticity was you know importance yeah two
sort of resolve your stuff right now i'm not a pot and yeah i don't do drugs yeah yeah don't go for that relief i go i use pot to go to sleep yeah the work and it turns out peter does to it does work and it's a whole lot better for you than valium or ambient or on that other stuff yeah i found it very touching the docket day you know the two things you going back to visit ted turner and and in a very close yeah hey a very sweet thing stay close to my three has yes with tom when he died mmhm i saw that name in the hospital here for you died yeah at zero that's amazing what you i have to i think there's two years where if you're smart you right all
eight you write the letters yeah and but you don't send them right so you get it out and starting at about four or five years you begin to realize i was take away its or almost as equally and or i made steak in the guys really sick of that wasn't the case with me but yeah and you think there were reasons that i loved him and so i have to stick with those and then if had children with them i was always afraid that if i didn't invite the ex husbands to spend christmas with me that my kids would choose to go with him and not me so so that deem under christmas with me and tom and tom come to events with ted yeah and you know and that deem met i said i just brought them all along there so they're really kind of so different
in terms so alike yeah i thought they were so different none of these guys are like my dad at all whoops no see here's the thing latics yeah so of course they're perfect for me yeah right you know if you're an addict you don't want to you know i'm sure the perfect the perfect man for me has come along to me in the eye and said come on show up and he had he had and i ran away scared yeah that's so i picked instead three absolutely riveting fat the nating brilliant man yeah none of whom were able to say come on fun sure well right with because they will likely how were they attic they were workaholics you're hearing king yeah drugs drinking in most cases yeah and it seems like it's very clear like you know how he had an influence on you in terms of
to get the things you learn to to move your own agenda forward what was it that you really gleaned from from ted as a as a person all my god that is a genius he really he really he is very woon did genius but a genius his you i'm i'm micro yeah yeah and he's yeah yeah and for you to experience that and learn from him the macro rear days right was just invaluable also screw practical you know he was once the greatest sailor in the world he won the america's cup and this was before computers yes when you did it your own brain and brawn yeah and
to be a great sailor you have to be the kind of person who forgets nothing you can't be two miles out at sea and oh i forgot the you mean yeah so he it's very to kill us he paid a lot of attention to detail any always on time and i learned that i i'm kind of that way anyway but i really learned the value of that sure brought me so much one of the things that he brought me because had been so abused the child is father i mean just terrible at age when the boy is most vulnerable in five and stuff he needed me he needed me any wasn't afraid to let me know and
i was the one who was grounded via i could bring him stability that was new for me yeah mia that phone and it gave me tremendous confidence and it sort of fleshed out that part of me that was responsible for bringing stability and being to nurture a bit yeah i think you know he learned even though i was not a good parent but learned i had a lot step parents via in he is so i knew how to be a step parent and i think he watched me with his children and i think he learned to be a parent yeah he's a good parent and the other thing i thought was amazing you know who was you know when you went to to to visit your mother's grave you know after you know it took a long time ted two to be able to do that and
were you able to to forgive yourself and forgive her i i forgave her when i was writing my memoirs found out things about her childhood yeah that allowed me it was like oh my god i always knew that something terrible had happened to her because she was not normal here but didn't know what it was and when i found out i was able to totally forgive her and i became the mother i just wanted to let me know she was there she killed herself when she was forty two i wanted to just hold her in my arms and rock her and cradle her and i was able to forgive everything and but i wanted to go to your grave with peter my brother and it just didn't workout so for the benefit of the documentary i went on my own ben no
but we'll probably go together hi it's nice and what now you talk about spirituality and we can kind of move towards the end here your father was atheist well it is for christian science and i think that that embedded itself somewhere in his dna but he called himself an agnostic right and size me whenever i would go to church so yeah i we kinda and then now you you seem to be a very spiritually driven i am i am and in what form is it i study the bible by study the life of christ i read the gnostic gospels i i have actually enrolled in the interdenominational seminary in atlanta i was the only white person there sportswear black ministers are trained an i believe historical christ historical buddha yeah and his story hello and i think
these were real people who we're tuned in here there were women as well i think mary was his favorite disciple and if you read the gnostic gospels that's proven true so i think there were some women that were tuned in to and when i say tuned and i meant i mean they on skip stood they were made of the molecules of stars that we are part of everything that there is something greater than us yeah and we must be humble before that right and that we must with every ounce of our being try to aspire goodness and greatness the we to try to make our lives for me it's something that would have made jesus proud because
my culture jesus the person that identify with and relate to i studied i have studied buddhism as well and i meditate jesus is my guy and i often what would jesus do sure and but there's a whole lot of that's in there that i don't you know the bible is a metaphor sure a very beautiful and it's ok not to have boundaries with jesus yeah i just find it i just find it utterly meeting only i could go back to that time i would love to experience that yeah that you know when you know jesus had women form in the eucharist
women more than anybody supported jesus he loved he supported women was a feminist charismatic fella he had small like all these guys did here and the women just got forgot along the way but there were women like that i think and and has to do with and you know that's why it this all kind of came together for me around the same time when i stopped being a food addict and when i got filled up here in my solar plexus was this understanding of the in part of something greater than myself need to finish many yeah and it's just a chain which means you're dead and that
when i suddenly you know i've known so many alcoholics jason robe parts for example will never forget we made a movie called comes a horseman together and he sobre by then and he told me about hitting bottom he told me about a higher power yeah and i remember thinking quite a lot of b s right higher power come on i was talking like my father ration hundred meter yeah suddenly i realized oh my god that's what that means my solar plexus have been filled with spirit yeah that chakra sharks i our while and i know why it's so high and for so many people especially guys because to receive that you have humble yourself profoundly it's hard for a lot of people to do that sure they want
i mean that's what you eating disorders all about an addiction how about let's sure and that's i don't talk about my feelings about jesus say about all of this very much because it was very hard when i lived in georgia because if i don't if i don't he due to the every word is you know true and all of that we cast out would get very very upset but you have personal relationship in a personal understanding and that's what's important yeah and you're doing great work for all of the things you do and yeah is showing up in north dakota was amazing say when you have when you're full with that yes you can go forth in the world and nothing can hurt you nothing can hurt you my hi sue beautiful
it is it is really very very blessed and i and i and i feel very honored that you talk to me today i feel honored that you at last and i'm i'm thrilled with the the success of grace and frankie and if you want to tell lily to come over i'm more than happy to have her great to go see her okay well well a really thank you so much it's a pleasure wow what a treat really i really love talking to her i did that was jane fonda and all five seasons of jane's series lily tomlin grace and frankie streaming on netflix you know they got the the they've been renewed for another season but you can up on the early ones now also don't lisa knows how important rest is to a better life lisa is foundation of a healthier happier you lisa's most pop
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i'm using the gold top for those you ask questions the les paul deluxe through the echoplex through the nineteen fifty seven fender deluxe amp that's been we've we cleaned up that that was just information for
turner's
Transcript generated on 2019-10-24.