A HOLLYWOOD WEEKEND

I should have taken pictures but it felt inappropriate. So I’ll just have to use my words to tell you about the parties we went to this weekend. They were really fun. At the CAA party on Friday I hugged and congratulated Anne Hathaway who recently did a magnificent job emceeing the Women’s Media Center gala in NY and wowed everyone with her intelligence. She told Robert Deniro about One Billion Rising that will take place around the world this coming Valentine’s Day, Feb 14th. She said, “Robert, one billion women in the world are rape or beaten in their life times. One billion people, women and the men who love them, will rise up to dance, sing, strike,raise their voices to say “enough.” Join us. You don’t have to do a fancy dance, just get out there somewhere and sway your hips and rise with us.” He had that funny, bemused, crooked smile of his, but seemed open to the idea. Robert Redford’s on board and has done a video explaining why he’s rising (Go to the V-DAY website). (But I’ll write a whole blog soon explaining what One Billion Rising is, cause you’ll want to be part of it.

I met Jennifer Lawrence who was so amazing in “Silver Linings Playbook.” For those of you who haven’t yet seen the film, I urge you to go, but you know Jennifer from “Hunger Games.” In “Silver Linings Playbook” her presence on the screen is electric. She is so utterly present, so inside her character’s skin that it’s a rare thing to see. She’s way taller than I had realized and really easy to talk to. Robert Deniro is in the film and also disappears into his character. We forget he’s Deniro. I told him that. I think it’s the best supporting actor role this season…and there are a lot of good ones! The director, David O. Russell, is also really easy to talk to and took me completely by surprise when he rattled off all sort of obscure trivia about my career–including, even the pretty silly “Sunday in New York.” I had no idea he knew much about me. There was a recent interview with Deniro describing David’s style of directing–he sometimes shouts things, ideas, new lines, etc at the actors while the camera is rolling and I think that would be such a great experience, would keep you fresh and surprised. My new dream is to work with him. I love all his films which, besides “Silver Linings,” include “I Heart Huckabee,” and “Three Kings.”

Demi Moore and I had a good talk. I’ve known her for over 30 years. She looked really well and said that she’s working on herself and feeling very upbeat. On the way out, I ran into my pals Rosario Dawson, looking radiantly in love (with the brilliant Danny Boyle who made “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Train Spotting” among others), Kerry Washington who was so good in “Django Unchained” not to mention “Scandal.” Rosario, Kerry, Anne Hathaway and I are all on the board of Eve Ensler’s global organization V-Day: Until The Violence Stops. Leaving, I also ran into Jennifer Anniston, Naomi Watts, Emily Blunt and Freida Pinto and her partner, Dev Patel, who co-starred in “Slumdog Millionaire”. Dev is also in “The Newsroom” and Freida is a L’Oreal brand ambassador, as am I. What truly nice people they are.

Last night we watched the Golden Globes at home. Jodie Foster’s speech when she won a Lifetime Achievement Award made me cry. The first thing she did was shout out, “I’m 50! I’m 50”, with her arms spread wide. Then she said she was going to say something she had never said before, “I’m single.” I’ve never seen anything like her speech at an awards show…raw, honest, thrilling, inspirational–all, it felt like, in one, long, exhuberant breath, a compact, radiant body of pure energy, asking us to understand her, her need for privacy having worked as an actor since she was 3; her sending an incredible message of love to her mother who, I surmise is ill; the way she acknowledged her ex-lover but still her soul sister and co-parent of their 2 sons; her saying “This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting and now what?” Boy, can I ever relate to that. And later in the speech she said, “I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely.” Is there anyone who can’t relate to that? Is that not what we all dream of, pray for in our lives? To be seen and understood and not lonely? Whew!

I thought Tina Fey and Amy were fantastic and I loved that there really wasn’t a sweep by any one film.

After the show we went to the HBO post-Globes party where we sat with Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterson. I love and admire them them both so much and so many friends came by to chat: Michael J. Fox and his wife and son, Sally Field who is one of my dearest friends and who I wish had won Best Actress, Jeremy Irons, P. Diddy and many others.

From there we went to the Sunset Towers for the CAA party. Bill Clinton was there which was exciting. He said he and Chelsea are watching over Hillary and that she’s back at work. Again, so many friends–Eva Longoria, Kate Hudson, Kerry Washington again, Bill Maher. Jennifer Lopez came over to say hello and talk for a bit. She’d changed into a black, backless chiffon number that was stunning. Leonardo Di Caprio, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Bill Murray. I find Bill fascinating. Its hard to know when he’s serious and when he’s joking but he said he wanted to work with me and then, later, gave me some profound acting lessons. Quentin Tarantino sat with me for quite awhile carrying his Golden Globe for original screen play. I told him how extraordinary I think it is that “Lincoln” and his remarkable “Django Unchained” were in theatres at the same time. One, “Django,” viscerally shows what slavery was like, all within the framework of a sort of spaghetti western with lots of humor thrown in. The other, “Lincoln”, shows how that president got government to work to end slavery.

There’s a scene in “Django” where Kerry Washington is lashed with a whip. I told Quentin that it was the first such scene that I actually believed. I could feel every lash. Kerry seemed to be receiving each lash on behalf of her ancestors, all those who had experienced that, all the ghosts of the slaves on the actual plantation where they filmed. Kerry really got to me and I cried. I asked if it was a hard scene to shoot and he said that the one where Jamie Foxx has to get down on his knees before a white man and beg him not to whip his wife was perhaps even harder. “I filmed that myself with a hand held camera,” he said. “I was crying and my tears filled the camera lens and it fogged over and I couldn’t even see exactly what I was filming. I just pointed the camera in what I thought was the right direction.” “Did you actually use that footage you shot yourself?” I asked. “Yes,” he answered, “That’s the footage in the film.” It’s an important film, as is “Lincoln.” I have read about and heard people say after coming out of “Django,” that they’d never realized before what slavery was really like.

Quentin then went off somewhere forgetting to bring his trophy with him so I grabbed it for safe keeping. About 30 minutes later, he came back, all upset because he couldn’t find it and it was awhile before I saw him and let him know I had it.

As we left the party, people had started to dance and I was mesmerized watching Jennifer Lopez dancing, sometimes with her beau, sometimes alone, confident, glowing, sexy as all get out. As she moved, her back, bare to the waist, was a study to behold .

Now the parties are over and it’s back to work. I am feeling very much as if a new era is starting for me, just as Jodie Foster described it, and I’m trying to be as present and healthy for it as I can. I started the year with a cleanse and have made my meditation practice more regular and longer–but I’ll write about all that in my next blog.

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18 Comments
  1. What a great summary! 🙂 I was hoping for a post like this, just like you did last year. 🙂 Django Unchained is such a fun movie, I really enjoyed it (it’s hard to beat Inglourious Basterds, though). Tarantino is a genious. 🙂 I liked Lincoln though I wasn’t that intrigued, probably because I’m not American. Sally Field was best in show IMO and I’m also disappointed that she lost the Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe (I didn’t like Les Miz at all), but I hope she wins the Oscar. 🙂

    I haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook even though it’s been released and it’s the #1 movie for me. 🙂 I’ll see it in a week. Right now, I think it will win the Oscar for Best Picture (although Lincoln seems to be the front-runner). 🙂

  2. From Rio de Janeiro:After reading this Blog, I felt like I was there! “To be seen and understood and not lonely?” That´s all everyone wish! Just the most beautifull speech from Miss Foster…Best regards…Your N.1 Brazilian fan.

  3. Boola, Boola to all of the above on Jodie!!

    I’m still ambivalent about “Django,” however. I felt a similar way about “Precious”and “The Help.” As an African-American and a movie buff, I really have a hard time finding films that lift up African-Americans without reverting to some story line that includes a white Deus ex machina to save the day.

    “Django” is basically a violent, revenge fantasy comedy set in the time of slavery, but no Jewish friends I know would appreciate such a movie treatment about the Nazis and the Holocaust.

    Black history, represented in film today, remains as it has in the past, mired in a murky soup of feelings – guilt, fear, shame, self-loathing, rage; stereotypical thinking, widespread ignorance of our nation’s ugly beginnings and the need for features to recoup lots of money. And no one wants to tramp into that dark quagmire, for they know at the end of the journey no Oscar laden Golden Fleece will reward their courageous efforts.

    And yet we must enter that lonely swamp. We are COMPELLED to enter it if we truly wish to understand what’s behind statements such as Spike Lee’s (and he is surely not alone in feeling this way) in which he accuses Tarantino of trivializing slavery and its evil legacy. A legacy that plays out in so many other ways to this present day.

    This topic screams out for a large scale symposium that brings together all the players: actors, directors , producers, writers, historians, film historians, anthropologists, sociologists and the public gathered from every ilk, color, religion and philosophical bent. I’m just salivating at the thought that this could ever happen.

    I recommend two great films made by African-Americam men that are seldom screened:

    “Killer of Sheep” By Charles Burnett and

    “George Washington” by David Gordon Green.

    I adding “Putney Swope” by Robert Downey,Jr because it’s just so subversive and funny.

    They are all worth watching again, especially in light of all the Preciouses, Djangos, Madeas, The Helps and The Blind Sides.
    Just some thoughts.

    “Where shall the word be found, where will the word
    Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
    Not on the sea or on the islands, not
    On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
    For those who walk in darkness
    Both in the day time and in the night time
    The right time and the right place are not here
    No place of grace for those who avoid the face
    No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice.” T.S. Eliot

    Now I have to walk my pup who cares naught for all of this!

    April in Ann Arbor

    • April, I won’t see Django because of my issues with Quentin as a person and his love and excuses for violence. I do think The Help was very good. Octavia’s acting is superb and she had me laughing for days. Precious…I was reluctant to see, and it took a few years before I finally did. The content was too close for comfort. Really only watched because I love Gabby (Gabourey). The acting in it was exceptional all around, and the character Gabby played is so completely different than how full of life she is off screen. She really deserved that Oscar nom! On the slavery issue, I agree with much of what you said. Just remember, slavery isn’t a thing of the past. There are more human slaves today than any time in history, including sexual slavery. Oppression comes in many forms. Most people’s stories never get told.

  4. What fun and how interesting and exciting – thank you for sharing. I hadn’t heard about One Billion Rising – now I need to make sure I know more. And I want to say I live how you’ve taken this chapter of your life and shared. So many women are afraid to and you’ve taken it to a level of age – a number – that’s it. The rest – every day can be more interesting than the last. We only get better and better!

  5. Glad to hear about your Hollywood weekend. Very interesting.

  6. How fun to read! Yes, Jodi Foster was amazing and it has been a fantastic year for movies! I have seen all of the nominated films for the Oscars (Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress, and Supporting roles) except Amour and The Sessions. I have to hunt those movies down. I had so many favorites! I am always curious what you vote for the Oscars. This year I will be sitting on the Red Carpet Bleachers for the SAG Awards. I am very excited! Sure wish you were going to walk the carpet. I also wish The Newsroom was nominated for the cast, plus you for supporting, but I’m glad Jeff Daniels got recognition. (Any unusual sites I should see in the LA area, minus your typical tourist sites? Last year I walked along Runyon Canyon and loved the views, people watching, and dogs.) Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences at the parties!

  7. Great post. Would love to see you on Bill Maher!

  8. Jane:
    I am a very new: since yesterday reader here.

    You write well and I must also say that the names and topics of conversation and observation were very interesting

    I am not normally into what is happening in Hollywood: Period.
    I live in Ohio and not into the “Media Star” scene. And I dont mean that in a negative way: I cant think of a better way to describe how it seems to me.

    I havent been to a movie in a long time because I dont hear/see much that I would pay to go see.
    Going to a movie seems to be more trouble than it is worth.
    I am not into what would be the right demographic, I guess.
    I am 59.

    However, I did enjoy reading this in order to gain a “Jane Fonda” perspective.

  9. Django was a great movie.
    You’re writing is excellent, just as your acting was. I loved you in Fun with Dick and Jane.
    I’d like to ask a favor if I may. Since you write well, it means you’re a reader. Would you glance at my first book to see if it’s something you’d be interested in reading? The title is Coming to Astoria: An Immigrant’s Tale. It would mean alot to me. You might enjoy the chapter where I talk about meeting my first movie star at eleven years old, Sandy Duncan. It happened over forty years ago, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

    • Dear Omar, thanks for your offering to let me read your first book but I must decline. I have a stack of things to read two feet high and I’ve fallen too far behind to take on anything new. xx

  10. i placed a comment, invitation, on the Alexander Payne story…..

  11. such a great blog… and many little question marks pop up in my mind as I read it. Like, for example, what does an on-the-spot profound acting lesson from Bill Murray over cocktails look like? Was he stoned and being hilarious or something like…”I know! I’ll give Jane Fonda an acting lesson because she only has 2 Oscars…” etc? and maybe he pulls that on Tom Hanks and/or Sally Field when he runs into them?

    My favorite Jodi Foster movie is “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” … I think that speech was even better than that!

  12. Hi Jane. I just watched you in Klute again after many years and I was overwhelmed. I have always admired you and have seen almost all of your movies. You look as beautiful as ever I must say. I have read your books and books about you and your family since I am so interested in your remarkable talent and the charisma you bring to the screen as well as your sheer magnetism as an individual. As a cinema buff, I watched Django Unchained and was thoroughly entertained. Quentin is a genius and has managed to show the ludicrousness of psyche in those who practiced slavery. I am a teacher but should have been an actress, since movies are are my passion and forte.keep on being as beautiful as ever inside and out and now that I’ve discovered your blog I will tune in often.

  13. Hi Jane,

    Thanks for sharing. Everytime, I am touched by your commitment to everything you do and also to your fans.

    And about Jodie Foster, I was impressed but sad as well, because even in 2013 it is still a big deal to come out of the closet, especially when you happen to be famous. And what is the big deal anyway?!
    But, even in The Netherlands, where we introduced gay marriage, for certain people you will always be one of the exotics:-)

    Jane, still have not been able to watch some of your movies, but I managed to buy 9 to 5 and chapeau for the three of you!! It was so hilarious, we had a very good time watching it. And I was very impressed by Lili Tomlin, an amazing actress. I knew her from Tea with Mussolini, but it gave me an appetite for more of her!

    Well, take care and enjoy, Nancy

  14. I just found you and this cool site by accident. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your weekend and your writing is fab; it is as I can hear you talking … So open and natural.

    Thank you for the heads-up on One Billion Rising. I’ll be sure to rally the gang and come V-day, we’ll dance with purpose on the beach here in Tortola!

    Thanks again, Jane, for sharing. I think you’re wonderful.

    Xxx

    Tam

  15. I have always loved Robert Redford. They don’t make them like him anymore. The industry just doesn’t have that many big male stars that are handsome, superbly talented, and a lot of integrity in their personal lives as well. I still remember you both in Barefoot in the Park.

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