Word is out about the film, “The Butler”. It is a beautiful and true story about a black man who grew up in the Jim Crow South and went to work as a much beloved butler in the White House through many administrations, both Republican and Democratic. Lee Daniels, the Academy Award nominated director of “Precious,” and producer of “Monsters Ball” will direct. The butler will be played by Forrest Whittaker and his wife will be played by Oprah Winfrey. It is their story. But a number of well-known actors will be playing cameos as the various presidents and first ladies for whom he worked. I will play Nancy Reagan.

While many of you have expressed positive sentiments, I know that this casting has upset some people — that I, a known progressive, would play this particular first lady, a known conservative. But I am an actor and I have no intention of allowing the political differences between us to color my portrayal of her. I will not be disrespectful. This will not be a film that, for political reasons, makes fun of or distorts any of the characters that appear. It is, as I say, a true story and a touching one, in my opinion.

In the two scenes I have, I will try to portray Mrs. Reagan as the powerful first lady and involved, protective wife I feel she was. I look forward to the challenge. And we do have a few physical similarities: we are both slight and we both have long chins. You can probably tell from the above photo that she has way better cheek bones than I do!

Speaking of work, any day I will be called in to appear in episode 10 which will conclude the first season of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom.” I can’t wait to see how he will bring this season to a close and I’m so excited I can hardly wait for the table read and get to see (and hear) Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterson, Emily Mortimer and the rest of the extraordinary cast. Thank you to all of you who have expressed such excitement about the show, I am grateful for such warm feedback.

Share This Post
  1. Hard to imagine that anybody would be seriously “upset” because an actor has agreed to portray a character that isn’t like him- or herself in ever respect. By that logic, who’s supposed to ever play, say, Richard III?

  2. I have been a fan of your’s since 1980, when my parents took me to the drive-in to see 9 to 5 (my first “grown-up” movie). In the years since, my folks have grown more and more conservative…blech!…and still, my appreciation of you has grown. I’m looking forward to seeing you tackle the role of the US’ “Iron Lady”. Btw, LOVED your autobiography!

  3. Dear Jane Fonda,

    Great to hear about the show, just wondering when it will be on Dutch television:-)
    I am just getting to know your work and it is very exciting and gives a lot of energy. Thank you,
    Nancy Bos

  4. Jane: You’re a consummate professional and will nail the role of Nancy Reagan. I’m sure she’ll be proud! Looking forward to it. Hope you’re well.

  5. I’m sure you’ll be awesome. I wish you had a whole movie to play Nancy Reagan.

    You say you have two scenes. How much time does it mean (approx.)? Are they showy scenes? I’m so excited anyway. 😀

    And something else I don’t understand: imdb says you’re in the Pilot of The Newsroom but I remember you said you appear first in the third episode. Moreover: is it gonna be only ep #3 and #10 that you’ll be in?

    Sorry for all these questions. I love asking. 😀

    • Yes, I’m in #3 and #10 an Nancy reagan will be a 2 day shoot for me.

  6. You will do an amazing job as Nancy Reagan. I have loved your work and admired you for many years — your acting is superb.

    Read your book “My Life So Far” — couldn’t put it down! Thank you for all that you do; your inner growth over the years has been wonderful to watch.

  7. Jane,
    I saw your “Life Class” last evening on the OWN network. It was a fabulous statement of your “being”. I just wanted to tell you, so I looked up your site.


  8. Nancy Reagan would be honoured knowing you would play her and you will do a stunning performance, I just know. Enjoy the challenge and every moment of it.



    P.s . – you are way more beautiful though !

  9. WOW
    What a great and true challenge of your acting ability. The opportunity to stretch yourself as an actress and a person, to try to see it from the “other side”. no doubt you will be perfect but I bet it will take some research and some soul searching to keep beliefs at bay and portray her as she really was.

Leave a Reply