Sixty years ago, Jane Fonda first appeared on the cover of Glamour — not as an actress, an activist, or a Personality, but as a model who never imagined that she’d live the next two-thirds of her life as all three of those things and more. I love the photo art here, taking Jane’s photo from 1952 and overlaying her today standing tall and proud. I hope she puts it up in her house; it’s striking and stunning, and I’m grieving the loss of so many glossies on our newsstands, because by all rights this should be on one.
Yara Shahidi conducted the interview, with all of the care and intelligence that you would expect from someone who is herself smart and an activist, and very aware of — and cerebral about — the impact of having a platform. The piece doesn’t have any particular conversational flow; I went back and forth on whether I thought the questions were emailed, but Jane’s answers sound spoken, and there is one part where Yara does pick up on something Jane said in her previous answer. In truth, I don’t mind. I’d rather a slightly stilted Q&A that goes deep than some of the inane in-the-room stuff that happens when most celebrities interview each other. I do wish for some follow-ups to this, though:
My only mentor that was older than me was Katharine Hepburn. I was in my 40s while we were making [the 1981 drama] On Golden Pond, and she didn’t like me. She let me know that. She said she learned to admire me but she didn’t really like me. She took me under her wing in a certain way and that was important. But really, most of my mentors are way younger than I am and have had way more trauma in their lives and have managed to turn those wounds into plowshares into power, and they’re the people who give me hope.
For one, I’d love to hear about some of those younger mentors, but also… I can’t lie, REALLY need that Katharine Hepburn dirt.
Sincerely, though, it’s a good piece. Jane is always interesting. It would have been very easy for her to crawl into a hole and be quiet about her convictions, all in the name of playing the Hollywood game more gently, but that’s not her style and I respect that courage. I’m only surprised it took six decades for her to get back onto Glamour.