Jane Fonda had a curt response to Megyn Kelly during Wednesday’s episode of NBC’s TODAY show, when the former Fox News host asked about Fonda’s history with plastic surgery.
“You’ve been an example to everyone in how to age beautifully and with strength and unapologetically. You admit you’ve had work done, which I think is to your credit. But you look amazing,” Kelly said to Fonda, who appeared during Kelly’s hour of the TODAY show with her Our Souls at Night costar Robert Redford. “I read that you said you’re not proud to admit you’ve had work done. Why not?”
Fonda stared at Kelly and then answered: “We really want to talk about that right now?”
Kelly quickly replied, “One of the things people think about you when they look at you is how amazing you look.”
In response to Kelly, Fonda credited her “good attitude, good posture,” and taking care of herself as reasons for how she looks now. She then shifted the segment back to Our Souls at Night as Redford chuckled. “But let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, Our Souls at Night, rather than plastic surgery,” Fonda said.
In the Netflix film, Fonda and Redford play a widow and widower, respectively, who fall into a romantic relationship with each other. The film marks a reunion for the stars, who first appeared together in 1967’s Barefoot in the Park.
“You kind of have a choice in life when you get close to 80 or even before then, what you want to do with your life,” Fonda said to Kelly, pivoting away from plastic surgery. “And my character, Addie, in this movie, she knows there’s a lot more time behind her than there is in front and she doesn’t want to go down lonely and scared.”
Speaking to The Guardian in 2015, Fonda said of aging, “I’m two years older than my dad was when he died. Katharine Hepburn was three years younger than I am now when she made [On Golden Pond]. People looked older back then. I wish I were brave enough to not do plastic surgery but I think I bought myself a decade.”
She added, “The danger with surgery is you say: ‘Oh this is good, let me do more.’ It can be an addiction. Thirty percent of women were sexually abused when they were young. And a woman who has been sexually abused will have a tendency to go too far. When you’re young it can be [self-harm] and when you’re older it can be plastic surgery. When I see a woman who’s made her face a mask I say: ‘I bet, I bet.'”
In another interview around the same time with Dujour, Fonda dismissed people who ask her about “how do you stay looking so blah blah blah.”
“I’ve had plastic surgery. I’ve talked about that,” she said. “That doesn’t matter. What matters is realizing you can always get better. That you have to keep taking leaps of faith. It gets harder as you get older. You have to stay brave and keep trying to go beyond your comfort zone and see what you need to get to become who you’re supposed to be.”