Jane Fonda never thought she’d live to see 30, let alone 85, after all of the challenges and hardships she went through as a young woman.
The actor appeared on this week’s episode of Call Her Daddy in promotion of her new film 80 for Brady. In the teaser clip posted to the podcast’s Instagram account on Monday, Fonda addressed what makes the early years of adult life so incredibly challenging. “It is so hard to be young. Don’t let anybody fool you,” she said. “What am I supposed to do? Who am I supposed to know? Who am I supposed to become? What am I supposed to be interested in?” She noted, however, that all of those questions do get easier as you get older. The Grace and Frankie star continued, “Most of the hardships that I’ve gone through in my life happened earlier in my life. I suffered bulimia very, very bad. I led a secret life. I was very, very unhappy. I assumed I wouldn’t live past 30. I’m 85.”
Earlier in the episode, host Alex Cooper also asked about the hardest challenge Fonda has ever faced that a friendship helped her get through and the actor admitted that she was hesitant to reply because, “Most of the hardships that I’ve gone through in my life happened earlier in my life and earlier in my life, I never reached out for help. I considered it a big weakness. I wanted to be like a guy, you know. ‘I don’t need anybody,’ kind of thing.” She went on to say, “Earlier in my life—and I’m talking 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s—the mark of maturity was independence. I don’t need anybody. I’m grown up now. There was no recognition of interdependence. And, of course, that was especially true for men…and that was part of the culture, but that began to change. So my change also corresponded to a broader societal change, which I’m afraid is kind of going back to the way it used to be—rugged individualism, you know, ‘I’m only going to think about me and my family.’ And this is a time, if ever there was one, when we have to understand that we have to work together and that we are interdependent.”
But while Fonda used to think she’d never make it to old age, these days, Fonda feels pretty much invincible, even in the face of cancer. In September of last year, the movie icon revealed that she was recently diagnosed and about to start chemotherapy for B-cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in a blog post on her website. But she assured fans that she was feeling great and getting through it all by breaking a sweat. In fact, she wrote, “I feel stronger than I have in years,” adding, “Since last week, so many people have written to me or posted that they have had this type of cancer and have been cancer-free for many decades. Well, I’ll soon be 85 so I won’t have to worry about ‘many decades.’ One will do just fine.”