One of the most recognizable names in the world — Jane Fonda — recently opened up about her difficult relationship with father, fellow movie legend Henry Fonda, in an interview with Andy Cohen on Radio Andy (Ch. 102). Looking back on the scenes that included Henry Fonda in the 2018 HBO documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Cohen noticed that Jane had tried to “say everything that was unsaid” before Henry’s passing.
“You don’t become somebody you’ve never been at the end of your life,” Fonda explained. “My dad was not a communicative person. He just didn’t know how. And so, I would’ve made myself miserable to expect him to be that way. All I could do was my end — to tell him at the end, ‘I’m sorry that there were times where I made you unhappy. I’m sorry that I wasn’t always a great daughter. I totally forgive you for not always being a great father. I know that you did the best you could.'”
Jane felt that her father truly heard her words because he cried after she said them, showing a rare moment of vulnerability. The two also acted together in the 19781 film On Golden Pond just five months before Henry’s death, which gave them a chance to play out the mending of a strained father/daughter relationship. “Even though it was in a scene, it was still very close to the real thing between me and him,” Jane Fonda remembered of the movie.
She also took the time to give new father Cohen some parenting advice, wishing to help him avoid a relationship with his daughter like the one Henry Fonda had with Jane. “Develop a relationship from the get-go so that you are the person she goes to to get answers,” Jane said, urging Cohen to foster this before his daughter — now just three months old — becomes a teenager. “You’re the person that she goes to with her fears and questions. She has to trust you … If she sees you as a parent who can be totally present and listen from your heart, then she will always come to you when she has problems.”
Listen to the full interview with Jane Fonda on Radio Andy on the SXM App now.
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