Jane Fonda spills about Robert Redford, Katharine Hepburn, Michael Douglas and more in unfiltered Cannes appearance

Jane Fonda onstage during a conversation event with the public at the 76th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 26, 2023. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Jane Fonda speaks onstage during a conversation event with the public at the 76th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 26, 2023. (Photo: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Jane Fonda has never been one to hold back in her decades-long career, so why would she start now?

The two-time Oscar winner spoke for 90 minutes at the Rendezvous with Jane Fonda event at the Cannes Film Festival where she gave her unfiltered thoughts about Hollywood and past costars, including Robert Redford, Katharine Hepburn, Michael Douglas and others. Here are the juicy highlights.

Robert Redford

“He's a very good person," Fonda shared, according to Deadline. "He just has an issue with women." The actress didn't elaborate, but she knew her co-star well as they starred in four films together: 1966's The Chase, the screen adaption of Barefoot in the Park in 1967, The Electric Horseman in 1979 and 2017's Our Souls at Night. Fonda said she "was in love" with him during those first three films.

"He did not like to kiss," Fonda said, adding: "I never said anything [to him about it]. And he's always in a bad mood, and I always thought it was my fault."

By their fourth film, Fonda, out of love with him, realized it was not her fault: "What was I, about 80 years old or something like that. And I finally knew I had grown up. When he would come on the set three hours late in a bad mood, I knew it wasn't my fault."

Jean-Luc Godard

Godard directed Fonda in 1972's Tout Va Bien. "He was a great filmmaker. I take my hat off. A great filmmaker. But as a man? I'm sorry. No, no."

Lee Marvin

Fonda enjoyed making the 1965 Western-comedy Cat Ballou with Marvin and learned a few things about, and from, her co-star.

"I loved making the movie. And Lee Marvin was fabulous," she shared. "He was very funny. He was always drunk. We stayed at the same motel, and they had to carry him up the stairs."

"We would shoot sometimes 14 hours a day," she added. "And Lee Marvin took me aside and he said, 'Fonda, we're the stars of this movie. If we allow them to work us so many hours, we're not the ones that get hurt. It's the crew. We have to stand up for the workers, for the crew, and we have to refuse to work these long hours. We have to stand up for the crew.' And that had never occurred to me. That was a huge lesson from Lee Marvin."

Katharine Hepburn

The two were friends before Hepburn's death in 2003, something that amused Fonda because the iconic actress "didn't like me."

Fonda made 1981's On Golden Pond with her father, Henry Fonda, and Hepburn. "It was one of the most glorious experiences of my life," the actress shared, per Vulture. "I made the movie for my father, but the person I learned from in the movie was Katharine Hepburn." Henry Fonda died in 1982.

"All three of us were nominated for Oscars, and I didn't win, and they did," Fonda recalled. "And I called Hepburn up to congratulate her and she said, 'You'll never catch me now!'"

Fonda said Hepburn was "so interesting" because "she wanted me to keep talking about her after she was dead, and I talk about her all the time."

Michael Douglas

An audience member asked Fonda about how to break into the entertainment industry and in her reply, it led to an anecdote about Douglas, whom she starred alongside in The China Syndrome.

"Don't let the f***ers get you!" she replied. "You've got to be strong and stand up to them, but do it in a diplomatic way. You don't want to make enemies. It’s all about relationships. That's the big mistake I made. I never built relationships. Michael Douglas is great at building relationships. I don't think he really likes me, but he's very diplomatic."

Lily Tomlin

Obviously, there was no real tea to since Fonda confirmed Tomlin is her favorite co-star. We could have told you that.