NEW FRIENDS, NEW FILM

I flew to Paris from Dusseldorf the morning after the UNESCO event first to have an interview with Annabelle, the Swiss magazine that is similar to our Marie Claire. This was at the behest of L’Oreal.

I wanted very much to take advantage of my first-class round trip ticket provided generously by UNESCO to stop by Paris. I am going to be making a French film in Paris in June and I had hoped the cast and director could arrange their schedules to have an introductory dinner together—give us all fantasies and mental images of our playmates between now and June. This will be my first film in French in almost 50 years!! It is a challenge I am greatly looking forward to and, I know, Vadim (my first French husband), will be very much with me during the shooting. It is a tender, humorous, charming story about two couples and another dear friend with whom the two women had once been lovers who, because of the financial and physical challenges of age, decide to all move in together. (As many seniors are doing these days) A young sociologist who is doing research on the lives of older people is invited to live with them as well. I play an American who has lived all her life in France and is a Professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne.

Before the dinner, the author and film director, Stéphane Robelin and producer, Christophe Bruncher came to my hotel for drinks. I was startled by how young they both are, Stéphane is 39 and Christophe is 35. Just about the age of my children. This will be Stéphane’s first film but he has an air of confidence and creative vision that made me feel I will be safe. I think it’s fair to say we felt very comfortable together by the time we left for dinner.

Christophe, our producer, and Stephane, our writer/director

Christophe, our producer, and Stéphane, our writer/director

We drove up the hill to the top of Montmartre where the iconic church, the round-domed Sacre Coeur, sits imposingly.

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur


Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

The first person I saw when I entered the dining room was Geraldine Chaplin who, with her Chilean cinematographer husband had come in from Switzerland for the evening. I was so excited when I learned she was going to be in the film as I have always wanted to meet her. I was on stage with her father the night he made his triumphant return to Hollywood to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars—the same night I won mine for “Klute.” I am really looking forward to getting to know Geraldine during the filming. I like the way she has done her life.

Daniel Bruhl, the new German star who appeared most recently in Quentin Tarrantino’s film with Brad Pitt, was able to fly in from Germany to be with us. Daniel will play the young researcher who moves in with us and with whom I develop a close friendship. I found Daniel’s presence sweet, attentive and soulful. Perfect for the role.

German star, Daniel Bruhl

German star, Daniel Bruhl

Guy Bedos, the renown French actor, came to the dinner right from the theatre where he is performing a one-man show. The beloved French comedian, Pierre Richard, was there looking appropriately hirsute, sweet and bohemian to play the role of my husband. Only Claude Rich was not able to join us because he is touring in a play. This experienced, international cast brings heft and deep talent to our small, independent film. Most importantly, we could all tell that the seeds have been planted for real camaraderie and fun…and a lot of fine red wine.

Pierre Richard drove away in the rain on his motor bike and I went “home”“ for a few hours sleep before making the final trek back to Richard.

Guy Bedos and Pierre Richard...what handsome guys!

Guy Bedos and Pierre Richard...what handsome guys!


Pierre Richard, my "husband'

Pierre Richard, my 'husband'

I took a fancy to Geraldine's sneakers

I took a fancy to Geraldine's sneakers

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50 Comments
  1. My Dear Ms Fonda,

    You look fabulous!

    Have a great evening!

    Best,
    Daniel.

  2. Seasons Greetings Jane!
    I send Holiday MAGICMAD musical love to you and to all you love! I hope you can watch the meteor shower for a while tonight…
    I also hope everything is safe and happy in your neighborhood too. Please be careful when you have more fun later, ok? THANKS for being my friend! Sincerely,
    Lawrence Mark
    MAGICMAD WORLDWIDE
    Ps… Hohoho! I forgot that I could have taped one show and watched another. I was jumping around the channels because there were too many good shows on!
    Troy was good in his part on House though!
    Jane, if I get in the competition for the America’s Got Talent show next season, will you vote for me? I want to sing some really good slightly older songs. I have had two auditions in Chicago already! I just have a really good feeling about making it at least a few steps down the “fame” road…
    Your new movie sounds good to me… and those handsome lads look a lot better with you in the photo!
    Mail me! hehe

  3. My goodness, this looks great. Adore the images, especially the ones of Sacre Coeur. Bravo, sounds a wonderful film!!

  4. Sooo exciting! Wow.

  5. Dear Jane;

    How refreshing was to read the news about your prochain film,you continue to amaze me with all your projects .I am so happy for you.
    It sounds like a lot of fun,specially the fact that “all the seniors” will be living together,i’m a senior myself and I think the idea is just great!!.
    Your pictures from Sacre Coeur brought me lots of sweet memories, years ago I lived for a year in Montmartre at the foot of the church,and I remember how beautiful it’s at night when it’s all lite up.
    I’m Chilean living in the US now for many,many years,I know(not personally) Claudio Guzman,he was one of the brave ones who made a movie about the Pinochet years,and I admire him for that,if you could please give him my respect in my name and many other chileans.
    Paris is one of my dearest places,I hold it always very close to my heart and I cannot but feel jelous of you being there.
    I wish you all the luck in the upcoming filming,you and the puppy will have lots of fun ,she will fit right in with all the other Parisian puppies,allowed to go any place she will please.
    My best regards to you the great Ms Fonda
    Carmen

  6. I am so happy you have found this soulful vehicle. I look forward to seeing you in a foreign/independent.

  7. Dear Jane,
    The photo of you with your husband, put a smile on my face.
    d

  8. Love the shoes.
    Sounds like a lot of fun. Everyone seems so talented, i’m sure it’ll be a success! I mean, how could it not right?! 🙂

  9. Wow Jane,

    First Broadway show after decades and now this new
    artistic challenge. I so enjoy your older French films (even the one you’re not fond of in your book). Tout Va Bien was fun and interesting. I look forward to your next French film just as I looked forward to 33 Variations.

    You aren’t getting soggy and remain an inspiration.

    All the best,

    Matthew

    PS. And I watched House for the first time this evening. What a great job Troy did, you must be so proud.

  10. Hi Jane,
    Daniel Brühl is wonderful. His most important film in Germany to date is ‘Goodbye Lenin’ (the original German title). A film about a son looking after his sick, bed-ridden mother in East Berlin during the time the wall comes down. It would literally kill her, an active and passionate citizen of the GDR, to know that her beloved country doesn’t exist anymore. So he makes the decision to keep the dream alive and pretend that East Germany still exists. He feeds her with East German food (a difficult task seeing as all the food factories are closing down), he even gets a friend to produce his own version of the East German daily news, which he plays for her on video. And so on and so forth.

    It is a great film and one I’m sure you would enjoy. Daniel Brühl also played the talented violinist alongside Judi Dench and Maggie Smith in Ladies in Lavender.

    He’s extremely lucky to be working with you (Oh man, what I would give!!) and I’m sure you’ll love working with him.

    Best wishes from Germany
    Jason

  11. a sympathetic movie team! looking forward to see the movie achievement! thanks for this awaited post! frederique dhenein

  12. Hi JANE,

    I WATCHED TROY ON HOUSE LAST NIGHT,(MONDAY) AND THOUGHT HE DID A GREAT JOB IN A DIFFICULT ROLE.
    TO LOOK GOOD WITH THOSE BANDAGES ON HIS POOR NOSE, AND STILL SOUND CREDIBLE WHEN HE SPOKE MUST HAVE BEEN CHALENGING~ I WAS IMPRESSED BY HIS HEIGHT TOO, MUST RUN IN THE FAMILY. HE CERTAINLY IS A HANDSOME MAN. CONGRATULATIONS TO HIM AND TO YOU TO KEEP THE THEATRICAL LINE GOING!!!

    ELAINE, IN THE REAL PRINCETON NJ AWAITING OUR NEW HOSPITAL IN A YEAR OR SO.

  13. Will there still be a project with Diane Keaton? For a minute – brief – I thought Chaplin had been in Julia.

  14. I’m a big fan of yours, Jane, but first French film in nearly 50 years? I recently rented the DVD of Godard’s “Tout va bien” in which you acted (en francais) alongside the great Yves Montand. That was in 1972, n’est-ce pas?

  15. Sounds like a great movie, and a lot of fun. Will have to watch for that when it comes out.

    • Last night I watched Once Upon A Time In The West. What a weird film, but it kept me mesmerized. Sometimes I see your father moved through films emotionless too. It’s the Taurus thing. My mother is a Taurus and believe me, to get any emotion out of her is a feat. I understand it and respect that that is who she is and always will be. They am who they am!!

      I’m up to Ted in your book. It made me smile to see how he acted like such a peacock, presenting many tail-feathers to convience you that he is worthy and the one for you!! Very cute!

      I also relate much to your paths in life because I am also a Sagittarian. We are late bloomers. And while we couple up several times in life, when we realize we are very independent loners, that bore very easily and need to be on the move, when we finally realize that, and let it be, it is a wonderful place to be! I spent 13 years alone. Fabulous years. Am now with a wonderful man, and it’s just so much easier because I needed just me for that time.

      Back to the book!

      • I just read where Ted said to you “you can’t keep threatening to leave me” OMG I thought, my husband said the same thing! Again Sagittarians are not good at committing. Not a flaw, just a characteristic of whom we are! We just don’t like being fenced in, even by marriage! The path to finding ourselves is in embracing that and making it work with commitment! It’s work, but we are smart! I quit threatening to leave, and found what I needed to make it work! Not what he needed! Back to the book!

  16. Fantastic news. The best movies have almost always come from France. They’ll know — much better than Hollywood these days — how to tap your superb talent (just ask Kristin Scott Thomas). No offense to your friends in the L.A. biz, but they’re just incapable of making movies as good as They Shoot Horses, Klute and Coming Home anymore. I want to see you act with geniuses like Isabelle Huppert and Daniel Auteuil … in addition to the great Geraldine Chaplin. And star in movies by Olivier Assayas and Claire Denis. Gutsy move on your part. Bet it pays off with work you can be proud of.

  17. The film sound so interesting , I am sure it will be a respected work. It is nice to see that older parts and I don’t mean the human body part but the parts in the story are more open . Playing or Acting for a older person bring more little things to the table, more experience for the development of the human interaction and charictor development as well. I sure that the film could make a nice redo in English and your part could be interchangable. Good luck on the project, looks like nice work and cast .

  18. How wonderful that you will appear in a new film! And the fact that it’s a French one makes it even more exciting. I’m really looking forward to it. I hope it will be shown in Sweden!

  19. Everything sounds exciting about this movie, Jane!! I’m really happy for you to be able to do this!! You all should have fun filming it in Paris in June!! These pictures are great! Loved seeing the ones of Sacre Coeur! It’s nice to know Geraldine Chaplin will be in it too! I wish she was in more movies! Great picture of her shoes!! If you find out where she got them, let us know!! I still haven’t seen the L’Oreal commercial of you! Do you know what networks are showing it?

  20. Jane, You are amazing! You have so many interesting projects in your life.

    The French film sounds so exciting. Unlike you, my French from college 30 years ago is very rusty and I’ve been wanting to take some classes. Now I’m definitely going to do it so that by the time your film comes out — in a few years I imagine — I’ll be able to watch it without subtitles.

    Congrats on the UNESCO award.

  21. Bienvenue en France chère Jane!
    J’ai hâte de voir votre film car j’adore votre accent quand vous parlez français 😉
    Et le casting est impeccable, vous allez être bien entourée! Amusez-vous bien pendant le tournage et donnez-nous vite de vos nouvelles!
    Take care. Olivier.

  22. What an incredible casting! Just like coming out of the dreams of any cinema goers. I can’t wait to see the film!!!

  23. Handsome guys, all of them. And you just look amazing as usual…
    Will the film be released in the US?

  24. I watched House. I like that show, interesting sickness Troy had. That porn will kill ya.(HA) Your are going to my Favorite city (The city of lights)I love Paris. I guess you will be eating some good food. Have fun.(But it looks like you have fun with what ever you are going to do and that is GREAT…) By the way cool shoes. take care

  25. That’s fantastic with you making a new film Jane. I wish it all the luck in the world. Wasen’t Tout Va Bien another French film you made?

  26. It’s such a pleasure to read your blog. Thank you for sharing your generosity of spirt! I hope you’ll make a film in Montreal sometime in the future.
    Edith in Montreal

  27. Can’t wait to see this movie! And look forward to following the process of making it in your blog.

  28. The new French film you’re doing sounds terrific! You and Pierre look wonderful together. And Geraldine Chaplin! I have been fascinated by her since her first (I think) appearance in “Dr. Zhivago.” She has a strong screen presence (as do you). I would love to know more about her. I hope you two have some scenes together. Always look forward to reading your blogs. Bon jour!

  29. Love your blog Jane , I am a long time fan . I saw Daniel in Ladies in Lavender , very sweet movie .

  30. I like this: “I like the way she has done her life.” Nicely put.

  31. The film sounds great; I’ll look forward to it! (Love your pictures!)

  32. Wow, that’s some fancy footwear. Jane, I really enjoy your blogs, thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  33. Hi Jane. This is really exciting news. Two of my favorite actresses working together in French! Although Chaplin works in Spanish too. It’ll be quite a contrast in styles, but a rewarding one.

    She’s made so many fascinating films, I recommend Cria Cuervos, Noroit, Remember My Name, Love On the Ground, The Moderns and The Orphanage if you haven’t seen them all. Of course she’s most famous for Dr Zhivago, Nashville and playing her own grandmother in Chaplin, but her career charts a broad spectrum.

    There’s something both haunting and brittle in her performances, a mysterious defiance. I guess both of you are linked in having iconic fathers, and how important it was for you to forge your own identities despite obvious legacies linked to the past.

    How exciting and perhaps daunting for your young director to work on this project. Thanks-Chris.

  34. Bonne chance, Mademoiselle Fonda! J’espere qu’il serait tres genial! Est-ce que vous faisez un film “The Widow’s Adventures” avec Diane Keaton aussi? Je vois celle sur le site imdb.com.

  35. Jane, you are beyond fabulous!!!

  36. Just watched “The Game is Over” on DVD. You were fantastic in it. Sorry to make two comments in a row, but I can’t edit the first one.

  37. You still look great at 71, Jay Leno was talking about you tonight. A fan in Nebraska.

  38. I can’t wait to see the film-It sounds divine-and I love french films! Intriguing hearing about Charlie Chaplin’s daughter. He himself would have been an interesting person to know.

  39. I’m so pleased you’ll be making another film! I watched your “Fun with Dick and Jane” movie today. Loved it! You were so natural! Did you ad-lib any of those lines? They really sounded like things you’d say. Although really light-hearted, it was a clever movie … simple, but clever. Thanks!

  40. Félicitations, Jane! J’ai hâte de voir le résultat final de cette collaboration prometteuse!

    I am an actor who grew up in Montreal, and I am currently living and studying acting in New York. Although I have not acted in French since high school (I am now 34), I hope to do so again in the future. In fact, I dream that someday I too will be working on a film in France! (Or rather, it’s more like something I visualize for myself. That makes it sound more real and attainable. Which I believe it to be.)

    So please keep inspiring me! (Which you do just by doing what you do…)

    Bravo et merde pour le nouveau projet, et bonne continuation!

    Robert x

  41. A professor of philosophy no less…hmmm…this is interesting…sounds like it will be one of your better roles…of course a professor of philosophy should be played a bit more subdued and perhaps a bit more subtle than what you have done before, not just crazy and sexy, romantic comedy, shrill, camp, or sex in the city style. Oh, I think you can still express sexuality but in a more subtle way. There is always sexuality in and among people…sometimes it can be high art, if it is done correctly that is. Being genuinely confident is important for this. Look at the traditional female sexiness and see how servile and lacking in self-confidence it is…why sex in the city is rather low — at least from a more sophisticated feminist-humanist perspective … something to ponder anyway. Am not interested in seeing another fan pleaser/teaser.

  42. Dear ms. Fonda

    I am an English teacher in South Korea and I am originally from South Africa. Just by chance I came upon your blog and I was surprised to see how much charitable work that you do. Normally one doesn’t expect people in your position of wealth and privilege to have such a strong community conscience. Well, this letter is just to give you support and to encourage you to continue the good work. You are a real credit to your country.

    I only wish that you could do something for the millions of AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, but then that would be asking too much I think. I hope to try and do something in the future if I can.

    All the best and carry on the great work that you are doing for Unesco.

    Regards
    Chris Ekerold
    Buyeo, Korea

  43. Thanks for this inside glimpse of how movies are created!

  44. I was so excited to come across your blog. I am watching “Monster in Law” for the 25th time on TV as I write this. I laugh outrageously every time I watch that movie. I just love it.

    I remember as a young girl watching you in “Tall Story” which is another one of my favorites, and that after watching that movie becoming your fan. You are so wonderful in everything that you have acted in that I never miss a movie when I see your name as part of the cast. I hope to see you on stage some day. I live near San Francisco and go to the Theater often so maybe one day you will be here working and I will get my chance.

    I am so glad you are blogging. This is going to be great reading!!

    Take care,

    Molly

  45. Beautiful pictures of Sacre Coeur. They bring back memories of my trip to Paris in 1985. Can that be almost 25 years???

  46. When a dream comes true.

    I’m so glad to find out about this movie. The cast is fantastic! I’m so happy you guys meet on one film set. Brilliant.

  47. French films differs from Hollywood films and for this will be a new venture in the arena which foreighn to her genes.But as meeting of the cast,producers,director of the film gel togather the film making will be fun.

  48. I am interested in auditions for your new movie coming up.Plz take a look I will be 50 in a month.Thank you Lori Jones

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