Peter Bart is contributor to Awardsline and Deadline
Not one to slow down, Jane Fonda has written a New York Times bestseller, Being a Teen; has signed on to costar with Lily Tomlin in Grace & Frankie for Netflix; and just finished shooting the feature film Fathers and Daughters with Russell Crowe. She’s also a prolific blogger at JaneFonda.com. But perhaps most exciting is her return as Leona Lansing in the third and final installment of HBO’s The Newsroom, for which she performed a mesmerizing monologue last season that fans hailed was not so much Emmy- as Oscar-worthy.
AWARDSLINE: You had a scene at the end of the second season of The Newsroom that I felt was really vintage Jane. Was that speech totally scripted or did you embellish it?
JANE FONDA: Oh, you don’t embellish with Aaron (Sorkin, the show’s creator); there’s no improvising. That was the first thing that (costar) Jeff Daniels said to me when I came to the first table read of the first season. He said, “Know every line backwards and forwards, every comma, every period, awake and in your sleep.” Read More »
Jane Fonda's AFI Career Award
Studio chiefs and top stars turned out to celebrate the two-time Oscar winner Thursday. The busy-again actress is the only daughter of a previous AFI honoree to receive the award. Her 'China Syndrome' co-star -- and fellow AFI Life Achievement Award legacy -- Michael Douglas presented it to her. Deadline's Pete Hammond and Dominic Patten discuss the big night.
Related: Jane Fonda Honored With AFI Life Achievement Award
Morning Report, Friday June 6
'The Fault In Our Stars' opens with $8.2 million in late-night screenings, dwarfing 'Edge Of Tomorrow'; Game 1 of NBA Finals dominates TV ratings, Jane Fonda feted with AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. Deadline's Dominic Patten reports.
‘Fault In Our Stars’ Matinees Exceptional After $8.2M Late Nights
ABC’s NBA Finals Ratings Thump Competition
Jane Fonda Gets AFI Life Achievement Award
Jane Fonda's AFI Life Achievement Award
Studio chiefs and top stars turned out to celebrate the two-time Oscar winner's career Thursday. The busy-again actress is the only daughter of a previous AFI honoree to receive the award. Her 'China Syndrome' co-star -- and fellow AFI Award legacy -- Michael Douglas presented it to her. Deadline's Pete Hammond and Dominic Patten discuss the big night.
It didn’t take long to bring up the controversial side of Jane Fonda during AFI‘s Lifetime Achievement Award tribute Thursday night. AFI Board Of Trustees Chairman Howard Stringer addressed the elephant in the room almost immediately upon taking the Dolby Theatre stage: “What not a lot of people know is that Jane Fonda attended the very first AFI tribute in 1973 to director John Ford. She didn’t actually make it into the ballroom that night because she was out front picketing. That’s right, she was there to protest the appearance of one of that night’s presenters, Richard Nixon. Jane, what are we going to do with you?” he said to much knowing laughter and applause. A little while later, AFI CEO and President Bob Gazzale picked up on the theme. “Yes, Jane picketed the AFI Life Achievement Awards. But it wasn’t the first time that she’d marched on AFI,” he said. “Some years earlier outside the gates of the AFI conservatory there was a protest led by Jane and another Life Achievement recipient, Shirley MacLaine. They were there to draw attention to the lack of women in roles in the AFI Conservatory and they were right. Their effort led to the establishment of the AFI Directing Workshop for women which this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary. And they also helped to ensure women were admitted to the AFI Conservatory where women have flourished over the years.”
But as it became abundantly clear this evening was much more than about Fonda’s well-known activism. It was about a film career that has brought her two Oscars from seven nominations — that started in 1960 with Tall Story and is still going strong all the way up to next September’s This Is Where I Leave You. Both are from Warner Bros and both show the remarkable career journey this daughter of a very famous star, Henry Fonda, and sister of another twice-nominated actor/writer/producer Peter Fonda, has taken. Among studio heads that included 20th’s Jim Gianopulos, Sony’s Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton and Disney’s Alan Horn, Warners’ Kevin Tsujihara was also there. Read More »
Two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda will deliver this year’s commencement speech to UCLA‘s School of Theater, Film and Television grads on Friday, June 13. Fonda made her screen debut in 1960′s Tall Story and went on to star in over 40 films including comedy classics Cat Ballou and 9 to 5. Dramas They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Julia, The China Syndrome, On Golden Pond, and The Morning After nabbed her Academy Award nominations, while her turns in Klute and Coming Home won her the Oscar.
The actress, producer, author, and fitness icon recently boarded Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, which reunites her with Michael Caine. She’ll share words of wisdom with UCLA’s class of 2014 along with this year’s Distinguished Alumnus honoree Darren Star, who dramatized LA’s elite teen set with Beverly Hills, 90210 and brought the soapy shenanigans of the city’s twentysomethings to life in Melrose Place. Read More »
The wine and the money were flowing at Cinema Against AIDS 21, the annual fundraising event for amFAR timed to the Cannes Film Festival and largely hosted by Harvey Weinstein who announced a record-smashing take of $35 million this year. That’s far and away higher than the astronomical $25 million earned last year. Weinstein told me he was just hoping to make a dollar more than last year, but really had no idea the total could go this big. High rollers from all over Europe made up much of the packed crowd that also included celebrities like Adrien Brody, Adrian Grenier, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, Marion Cotillard, Michelle Rodiguez, Rosario Dawnson, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Jane Fonda, Justin Bieber, Kellan Lutz, Jessica Chastain and Leonardo DiCaprio. The latter was part of the action as, just like last year, a seat for a trip to space on Virgin Galactic in 2015 with DiCaprio was being auctioned off and actually went for $700,000. Last year two others won the auction, but DiCaprio told me tonight that due to technical problems there has been a 16-month delay in getting it space-bound. He seemed a little nervous about the whole idea but was game to play for the cause. Chief celebrity auctioneer and his The Quick And The Dead co-star Sharon Stone (who ran the auction as usual and took no prisoners in getting cash) effusively praised him for his unstinting support of the event and cause over the years. The lowest item to get a bid were the gloves of Karl Lagerfeld which took only $10,000 despite almost desperate pleas for more from Stone. She was really in her comfort zone in keeping this thing going at a fever clip. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In her second recent teaming with an Italian director, Jane Fonda has boarded Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino‘s men-reflecting-on-life tale, Youth. I’m told Fonda has a key role in the English-language film that starts shooting at the end of the month. This marks a reunion for the actress and the previously announced Michael Caine: The duo appeared in 1978 comedy classic California Suite, and Otto Preminger’s 1967 Hurry Sundown. Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel and Paul Dano are also among the main Youth cast, Pathé International said today. The company kicks off sales in Cannes next week. Sorrentino won the Foreign Language Oscar for The Great Beauty earlier this year and with Youth (aka La Giovinezza) is making a second foray into working with Hollywood stars after 2011′s Sean Penn-starrer This Must Be The Place.
Sorrentino penned the screenplay for Youth which centers on Fred and Mick, two old friends approaching 80, who are on vacation together in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is retired, but film director Mick is still working. The friends contemplate their children’s lives, Mick’s enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests as they face their future. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Films has set Jane Fonda and Bruce Greenwood to join Fathers And Daughters, the Gabriele Muccino-directed film that stars Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Diane Kruger, Quvenzhané Wallis and Octavia Spencer. Production just got underway in Pittsburgh. The film is a love story between a troubled father and his daughter who lives in New York 25 years after him, Crowe plays a famous novelist suffering from depression as he tries to raise his 5-year-old daughter. Seyfried plays the girl as an adult, who has struggles of her own, shrapnel from that childhood. Fonda will play the novelist’s longtime friend and literary agent while Greenwood will play the writer’s brother-in-law, who with his wife (Kruger) wages a legal battle to forcibly adopt the young daughter (Kylie Rogers). Read More »
Miss Deadline’s top TV stories this week? Check them out now:
Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin To Topline Netflix Comedy Series From ‘Friends’ Alumna Marta Kauffman, Paula Weinstein & Skydance
By Nellie Andreeva – Former Nine To Five co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are reuniting on screen in Grace And Frankie, Netflix‘s next original series.
ABC Family Pilot ‘Alice In Arabia’ Not Going Forward After Pressure From Muslim Advocacy Group
By Nellie Andreeva – Four days after giving a pilot greenlight to drama Alice In Arabia, ABC Family is pulling the plug on the project about an American teenage girl kidnapped by her extended royal Saudi Arabian family and forced to live with them.
PILOT SEASON 2014: Network Casting Chiefs On This Season’s Biggest Challenges, Casting Coups & Fresh Faces
By Nellie Andreeva – Spring arrived yesterday, bringing the end of the annual two-month mad dash known as pilot casting season. Heading into pilot season this year, there was a lot of concern that the proliferation of original scripted programming on cable and digital platforms would put an additional strain on broadcast pilot casting, further depleting the talent pool.
Alfre Woodard To Play US President In NBC Pilot ‘State Of Affairs’
By Nellie Andreeva – Alfre Woodard is taking on a presidential turn opposite Katherine Heigl in NBC‘s drama pilot State Of Affairs.
USA Picks Up Medical Drama Pilots ‘Rush’ & Complications’ To Series, Confirms ‘White Collar’ Renewal
By Nellie Andreeva – Dr. Lawson, meet Dr. Rush and Dr. Ellis. USA Network has given 10-episode series orders to two medical dramas whose protagonists share DNA with the lead in Royal Pains, ER physician-turned-concierge doctor Hank Lawson. Read More »
Former Nine To Five co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are reuniting on screen in Grace And Frankie, Netflix‘s next original series. The streaming service has given a 13-episode order to the half-hour comedy, created by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris (Sullivan & Son) and executive produced by Paula Weinstein through Skydance Prods. Grace And Frankie stars good friends Fonda and Tomlin as long-time nemeses Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) who are facing the last chapter of their lives. When their husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married, the women find their lives both turned upside down and to their dismay, permanently intertwined. Eventually, to their surprise, they find they have each other. Kauffman, Morris, Weinstein, Fonda and Tomlin executive produce with Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. “Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are among the funniest and most formidable actresses ever and it’s an incredible privilege to give them the opportunity to run riot on Netflix,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “The show created for them by Marta and Howard is warm, very funny and anything but wholesome. We can’t wait.” Read More »
Fans of the Oscars should be in hog heaven over TCM‘s terrific new 95-minute documentary chronicling the Academy Awards from their inception 86 years ago to the present. The film, And The Oscar Goes To…, premieres Saturday and is perhaps the most thorough and detailed look at the Oscars yet done — at least anything actually sanctioned on this scale by the Academy. To do something like this requires the complete cooperation of the Oscar gods, and filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads: Stories From The Quill, The Celluloid Closet) got it. There is tons of rare footage, both onstage and back at most of the past Oscar ceremonies reaching all the way to the first when it was held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
According to Epstein, it was then-Academy President Tom Sherak who was their knight in shining armor in getting the docu project off the ground. As I was interviewing him on Tuesday, news broke that Sherak had died. Epstein, who also serves as an Academy Governor in the Documentary Branch, wanted to make sure Sherak got due credit. “I just want to say that for me personally there is no greater tribute to Tom than having worked on this film, because if it weren’t for him it wouldn’t be. I went to him with the idea and five minutes of footage and he said, ‘We are going to make this happen,’ and he did. That was three years ago. He got it right away, he embraced it, he said you’re the guy to do it. He said he was going to take it to the board, and he presented that trailer I showed him to the board, and everyone agreed that this was the kind of thing we should support,” he said. Read More »
Ted Turner may no longer be in the CNN business but the cable news network is still in the Ted Turner game. In another look to the past like the resuscitated Crossfire, the now Jeff Zucker-run CNN will air Ted Turner: The Maverick Man on November 17. Looking at the billionaire’s life, the one-hour Wolf Blitzer special will air at 7 PM ET on Sunday. After creating CNN in 1980, the soon-to-be-75-year-old Turner Broadcasting chief eventually sold his network to Time Warner in 1996 and left that company’s board back in 2006. Maverick Man features not just interviews with Turner but also appearances from his ex-wife Jane Fonda, former President Jimmy Carter, and former CNN host Larry King among others.
Related: Jane Fonda To Receive AFI Life Achievement Award
Continuing their tradition of turning the AFI‘s signature awards event into a real family affair, the American Film Institute announced today that Jane Fonda will become the 42nd recipient of the prestigious AFI Life Achievement Award on June 5, 2014. The organization said the event will take place in Los Angeles but has not yet disclosed the venue. It will be taped for later airing that month on TNT, followed by encores on Turner Classic Movies.
Henry Fonda was the 6th recipient of the honor in 1978 making the Fondas the first father/daughter to win the prize. In other familial pairings AFI has similarly honored both Kirk (1991) and Michael Douglas (2009) as the only father/son combo and Warren Beatty (2008) and Shirley MacLaine (2012) as the only brother/sister to be named in the history of the award.
For my money Jane Fonda is an inspired choice. A two-time Oscar winner (Klute, Coming Home) and 7-time nominee, she has proven she can do it all, and even after a self-imposed 15-year retirement has come back with a vengeance most recently earning an Emmy nomination for her recurring role in HBO’s The Newsroom. But following in the footsteps of her iconic father and matching him as not only a major film star but adding producer to her credits too, Fonda’s varied — and sometimes controversial — career has truly met the AFI benchmark of “standing the test of time”. The award would be deserved if only for one of her signature achievements in producing and co-starring in the film version of On Golden Pond, the vehicle for which her father won a long overdue Best Actor Oscar (along with Best Actress Katharine Hepburn) shortly before he died. But she also has a great string of classics in addition to her Oscar winners including Cat Ballou, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, Julia and The China Syndrome. Her most recent Oscar nomination in 1986 was for the wildly underrated Sidney Lumet film The Morning After, one of my favorite Fonda performances. She’s also equally great in comedy, something many people forget, but consider Barefoot In The Park opposite Robert Redford in 1967, 1980′s Nine To Five and even her comeback role opposite Jennifer Lopez in 2005′s Monster-In-Law which turned into a sizable hit.
And don’t even get me started on Barbarella. In terms of AFI Life Achievement, she’s done it all. Here’s the release: Read More »
“I thought it would be fun to play her,” says Jane Fonda of her turn as Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, glimpsed in a new clip from the Weinstein Co. pic. The casting sparked plenty of controversy last year when it was first announced. But “I happen to know that she’s not unhappy that I’m playing her,” says Fonda. Check it out:
Related: Jane Fonda As Nancy Reagan: First Look
Paula Bernstein is an AwardsLine contributor.
A look at the leading Emmys contenders for drama guest roles this season.
WHAT: The Good Wife
WHY: “Why would I joke?” asks Nathan Lane’s Clarke Hayden, the trustee brought in to oversee Lockhart/Gardner and get the firm back on track. It’s a fitting question for Lane, who is better known for his comic delivery than for his dramatic chops. But, as the levelheaded Hayden, Lane forgoes the over-the-top theatrics and delivers a quiet performance that could earn him his first Emmy nom in a drama category (he’s been nominated previously for comedy guest roles on Frasier, Mad About You and Modern Family).
ONE-LINER: “I don’t like people who quit.” Read More »
A first look at The Butler and the staff that Lee Daniels assembled including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey in her first film since 1998′s Beloved, and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan which raised plenty of eyebrows and rankles last year. The film tells the story of Eugene Allen (Whitaker), who served eight commanders in chief during his 1952-1986 stint as the White House butler. Daniels wrote the screenplay with Danny Strong, based on Wil Haygood’s 2008 article in The Washington Post. The Weinstein Company releases the drama on October 18:
EXCLUSIVE: Jane Fonda is in negotiations to join Tina Fey and Jason Bateman in This Is Where I Leave You. The two-time Oscar winner will play the newly widowed Hillary Foxman in the adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s comic 2009 novel. The book focuses on a dysfunctional family reunited for a very tense week to mourn the death of their patriarch. Bateman and Fey play two of the four Foxman children in the film. Shawn Levy is directing This Is Where I Leave You with Tropper writing the screenplay. Levy and Paula Weinstein are producing the Warner Bros distributed film, which is looking at a late spring shooting start in New York. As well as a recurring role on HBO’s The Newsroom as network corporate owner Leona Lansing, Fonda will soon be seen playing Nancy Reagan in the upcoming Lee Daniels-directed White House saga The Butler. Jane Fonda is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Maron have already enlisted Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey for show duties, and now have added another nod to that generation with seven-time nominee and two-time winner Jane Fonda. Here’s the release that just went out:
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Academy Award® winner Jane Fonda will join Jennifer Garner, Kristen Stewart and Kerry Washington to present on the Oscar telecast, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.
Fonda earned seven nominations and won Academy Awards for her roles in “Klute” and “Coming Home.” Garner was seen in this year’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and will be seen next in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Stewart is best known for her role as Bella Swan in the “Twilight” saga and also starred in 2012′s “On the Road” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Washington starred in the Best Picture Nominee “Django Unchained” and was seen in “A Thousand Words.” Washington is also the star of ABC’s hit drama “Scandal.”
Read More »
Joaquin Phoenix and Anthony Hopkins may not approve, but Oscar season campaigning on the party circuit has been at fever pitch.
“We’ve never seen anything like this. We’re exhausted. We are out every night it seems and the invitations keep coming,” one Oscar-winning Academy member told me recently. He was referring to the glut of invites to parties, lunches, screenings with Q&As and everything else for which Oscar season campaigning has come to be known. He pointedly added that none of it has ever influenced his vote but he is not turning down the elaborate food spreads and the chance to mingle with contenders. “Just don’t tell anyone who invites me to these things, but it doesn’t really have much impact on the way I fill out my ballot,” he added with a smile.
That won’t stop Oscar strategists from trying and the campaign activity this season seems like it pushed into high gear much earlier than normal and hasn’t let up, even as the Christmas break quickly approaches and the town starts to shut down. Don’t tell that to the relentless Weinstein Company who will still have some of their contenders out on the stump even over this holiday weekend. Quentin Tarantino who, despite seeing his Los Angeles premiere for Django Unchained cancelled Tuesday night out of sensitivity to the Newtown tragedy, was out doing a Q&A and reception for a packed screening at the Academy last night and will be doing the same thing for BAFTA-LA Friday night. Read More »