Jane Fonda found that making her new series, Grace and Frankie, with friend and co-star Lily Tomlin, was no 9 to 5 operation.
“We worked harder than we thought we would. A half an hour sounds pretty quick, but the episodes were ambitious,” said Tomlin in an interview with Los Angeles Daily News.
Appearing onscreen together for the first time in 35 years, both Fonda and Tomlin were excited to work together again and take on the characters of Grace and Frankie.
“For a number of years I’ve wanted to do a TV show about older women,” said Fonda in an interview with the Irish Times.
“We are the fastest growing demographic in the world, and I wanted to find a way to give us a cultural face. I don’t like the way older women are portrayed, because I know that when women age they become braver, more feisty and more radical.”
Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) are not friends, but have tolerated one another for decades, as their husbands Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) practice law at the same firm. But things change as their relationship is thrown a curveball: Robert and Sol reveal that they have been having an affair with each other for more than 20 years, and they want divorces so that they can be married. With neither woman anticipating a change of such magnitude at this stage of their lives, they turn to each other for support.
Fonda’s character, Grace, is an appearance-obsessed socialite, while Tomlin’s Frankie is a financially comfortable hippie type. The oil-and-water characters begin their journey down an uncharted path that is full of laughable moments, as well as the heartache, self-doubt, and discovery that accompany the end of any substantial relationship — they are just doing it in their 70s. Netflix released the 13 episode series in its entirety on Friday.
“Binge watch,” Jane Fonda said in an interview with E! News. “We want them to binge watch! It’s only six and a half hours for the whole season. Just watch it all in one day and night. Get some good food and just sit there and watch it all.”
Fonda said she would be “shocked” if Grace and Frankie isn’t picked up for another season, but she isn’t sitting around waiting for the call. Jane Fonda has been busy with a number of projects lately, and at 77, shows no sign of slowing down.
According to her website, just in the last month, the two-time Academy Award winner has been honored at the Stoney Brook University gala, went to her 60th high school reunion, attended the White House Correspondents Dinner, and presented Robert Redford with the Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin first appeared together in the 1980 comedy 9 to 5, also starring Dolly Parton and Dabney Coleman. 9 to 5 was a huge success at the box office, and in turn a success for IPC, Jane Fonda’s production company that produced the film. Though Parton is not acting in Grace and Frankie, she does sing a cover of the 1972 Stealers Wheel hit “Stuck in the Middle with You” for the trailer. 9 to 5 is now considered a cult classic. Enjoy the original movie trailer from 1980.
[Photo courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images]