Considering Jane Fonda has made a welcome return to the spotlight, after coming out of retirement in 2005, it comes as a surprise that the 78-year-old actress is still plagued with nerves.
During a discussion hosted by Gayle King at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on Thursday, Fonda got candid about her own struggles.
“I’m always nervous,” she said when King asked if she had any doubts about returning to acting. To her credit, Fonda has been open about her eating disorders and her family’s depression. Her mother committed suicide when Fonda was 12 years old.
“Let me tell you something, at the end of season one of Grace & Frankie, I went back into therapy and got an acting coach,” Fonda continued, explaining that an actor's most important asset is their mind. “We have ourselves, and if we’re screwed up for various reasons, if we hate ourselves or get kind of weird in the head, it’s really hard to act. It’s hard to let the creative energy flow.”
It’s also partly why she initially retired, before feeling comfortable enough to return. “I just changed and decided I could find joy in acting again,” Fonda said, later adding: “It’s one thing to quite when you’re 62, but if you quit when you’re 78 there’s no coming back.”
Part of that joy comes from working on the hit Netflix series, co-starring her longtime friend, Lily Tomlin. Fonda credits Tomlin for making her laugh. “I like to hang around her, because it rubs off,” she said, explaining she doesn’t “really have a natural funny bone.”
Grace & Frankie returns to Netflix for season two on May 6. In the meantime, check out ET’s exclusive blooper reel from the making of season one -- and witness how much fun Fonda had on set.