BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (TIFF)

I wrote a week ago but I’ve had problems with my computer so I couldn’t send it out until today.

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Women stars of THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU: Abigail Spencer, Tina Fey, Connie Britton and moi

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I arrived early evening last Saturday, Sept 6th, and had dinner with my BFF, Paula Weinstein, her daughter Hannah Rosenberg (my goddaughter) and her friend at the Asian restaurant in the new Shangrila Hotel. (Sorry about the red eye problem. Can’t fix it on my iPad.)

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Warner Brothers (who distributes “This Is Where I Leave You”) was having a party upstairs and I’d heard Al Pacino was there as well as Robert Downey Jr. Much as I wanted to see them and talk to Al about the Paolo Sorrentino film which he had originally turned me onto, I knew I had to skip parties and maximize my sleep. I’d worked a long day on Friday shooting “Grace & Frankie” in Los Angeles and didn’t want to catch a cold.

Toronto is one of my favorite cities. I made a number of films there in the 1980s when I was a biker and on my days off I’d ride for hours on the extensive bike paths through parks, past rivers and waterfalls and along the shore of Lake Ontario. It seems a different place now. Still clean and safe, it has grown by leaps and bounds. I was told it is the city with more construction cranes that any other. I hardly recognize it now.

View from my tub

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Elan getting me ready

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The famous Needle (from my tub)

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You can just see Lake Ontario in the distance

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Some nice person or company (there was no card) gave me the red parka and the blanket. Fortunately I returned to L.A. In the private Warner Bros jet or I wouldn’t have been able to take them. It’s not like one brings enormous luggage with room to spare.

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I am back at Paramount now shooting “Grace & Frankie” so not much time to write so I’ll mostly just send pictures to give you a sense of what Toronto was like–back-to-back interviews, press conferences, red carpet and in-between precious few moments to catch up with my wonderful friends and co-stars.

Here are Matthew Shields and Elan Bongiorno, my glam team who got me ready for the photos and interviews.

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This was a colorful hotel gift: various chocolates made up to resemble a painter’s palette. (I took a bite as you can see)

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The bathtub in the suite where Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and I had our first interview

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The first interview

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Paula Weinstein giving me notes about the press conference

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The first group press conference

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Red carpet

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Below: Sue Kroll, President of worldwide marketing and distribution for Warner Brothers, producer Paula Weinstein, the movie’s wonderful director, Shawn Levy, Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production for Warner Bros, and moi

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With Sue Kroll, a true mensch

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Left to right: Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Tina Fey, Abigail Spencer, Jason Bateman and Ben Schwartz.

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The audience response to “This Is Where I Leave You” was fantastic! So much laughter you missed some of the dialogue. It was the first time most of the actors had seen it with an audience which made the evening really exciting

Sunday, going to the official TIFF press conference

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Talking with Jason Bateman backstage before the reds conference. He is just the best! Kind, generous and truly talented.

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I was thrilled to see Vanessa Redgrave at our premiere. Don’t forget we did “Julia” together…one of my most cherished memories.

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In the back row are the hysterical Dax Shepard next to Corey Stoll (check out his new series, “The Strain”), our director Shawn Levy, Rose Byrne and Kathryn Hahn . . . what a cast, huh!

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With Tina on the red carpet

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Vanity Fair interview with Krista Smith

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Last interview with Ben Mulroney. After that I hopped aboard a Warner Bros private jet and flew home (5-plus hours). On board were Warner execs Sue Kroll, Greg Silverman, Dan Fellman, Kathryn Hahn (who is terrific in our movie–as always!), her husband, Ethan Cory Sandler and my publicist Pearl Servat.

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Kathryn is far left.
Pearl below.

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Greg and me horsing around.

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It’s nifty to take a private plane and as I sat there I thought, “I could get used to this!” Then I realized I used to be used to it (Ted T). When Ted and I split up, friends worried I would suffer from luxurium tremens (James Taylor’s expression for it!) but I didn’t. After all, I’d been flying commercial for 50 years. I eased back into real life pretty quick. Best never get addicted to the frosting, it’s far too ephemeral.

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32 Comments
  1. Yaaaay! 🙂 I cannot wait to see this movie. I loved the book, love you and so on and so on… oh… you already know. 😀

    And yeah, one gets used to luxury os quickly. I just watched, like, two episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and I felt so awkward getting on the train instead of a limo and a drinking cheap red instead of Moet. Same when I watch the Oscars (remember, here it’s 2 AM when it airs) and it ends, I look out of the window, I see neighbor’s old barn and the glamour kind of ends. 😀

    • Daniel, I love my profession and all, but if I could support all the things/people I support and wake up looking at a barn…or, better yet…a mountain, I would. Glamour wears thin pretty darn quick.

      • Ain’t that the truth! Plus, glamour is a heck of a lot of work. It may look easy but…oy vey!

      • This is why I have always admired you… you wore your heart on your sleeve very early on which made your opinions available to a public… and I am astounded at all you do and certainly see you as a major provider to, as you say, things/people. I get that a job is a job… some just pay better than others and require ‘fancy pants’. lol I use to be contented just sitting on a front stoop of a busy street after a day’s work… now a little stroll away I have a huge bay. I hope you get to see that mountain more often.

  2. Really enjoy reading your blog posts! I’ve been a fan since Barefoot in the Park and used to do your exercises from your first book along with a LP record! Being a long time Braves fan, I loved when you married Ted Turner! I think growing up on a ranch in South Dakota and being a teacher, I try to channel my inner Jane Fonda! Now if I could only look half as good as you do! Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for people Jane…you are amazing! I am currently reading your “teen” book so help give me further insight to help my high school students! Love and Light to you.

  3. As always, love your travelblogs, but your ending is pure perfection:

    “Best never get addicted to the frosting, it’s far too ephemeral.”

    Love it!!!

    Steve C.

  4. Since you brought up the movie “Julia” . . . . OMG – the scenes on the train in which you are guarding your hat – not knowing if you should trust any of your seat mates. You played that so well. And then your playing off of Lillian (Miss R) in the restaurant where she is so strong – you can just feel the chemistry between you. Great acting – great film. Love ya!

  5. I had to laugh when most of your city shots were taken from the bathtub view! I would certainly be spending some relaxing time in there! I am looking forward to seeing the movie. I think it starts this coming weekend? I could use a few laughs right now. I love the cast. And I really love Jason Bateman. I am glad to hear he is a good guy. I have had a crush on him since childhood. 😉 It does look like a lot of work promoting a movie. I am guessing it is in many actors contracts that they have to do so many promotions/interviews for a movie? Oh, and you look great! You sure do appear relaxed and enjoying life, though I don’t know if that is the case.

  6. The hair is amazing. You look fabulous 🙂

  7. Last night I saw the trailer of your new movie, it seems like a great comedy. You look amazing, real class act.
    Greetings from Santiago, Chile

  8. Hi Jane 🙂 Greetings and big hugs from Edinburgh, Scotland.
    You’ve been such an inspiration for me in both my life and in my career (singer/songwriter).
    I had a similar experience as you did too with the glorious awakening of faith and then the downside of the extremists and traditionalists trying to impose on you their opinions and place me in a pigeon hole that nearly suffocated me until eventually I found my own place, mind, opinions and voice with my faith and God.
    I especially enjoyed your piece on Grace & Frankie where you spoke about it getting easier to conquer your demons when delivering your art and how your maturity helps you to deal with situations that can try to sabotage you. I recently finished writing and recording a theme for a tv show that it is hoped will be big both sides of the Atlantic and your words re-assured, calmed and encouraged me when things didn’t go according to plan during the recording or the process became stressful. The song is now done (is sounding great!) and I present it to the tv execs in London in a fortnight.
    This new movie sounds great – I love Connie Britton in Nashville and can’t wait to see you both work together. Also my partner is a big Lily Tomlin fan and we both can’t wait to see Grace & Frankie!
    I was very moved on your post about Parkinson’s and Richard’s optimism, humour and determination. Thanks so much to the two of you for sharing that.
    It’s so funny having been touched by you and having admired you for around 20 years, as we both seem to have arrived at a similar place. Life has had its pain and traumatic times but getting through it and then really finding yourself sees me much more chilled out, calm and so much wiser these days. Sort of feels like one gruelling, testing but ultimately rewarding traipse up this untamed hill (without a map), but now I’m sitting on the top taking in the beautiful view.
    Your sincerity, love and honesty inspires me so much and I seem to wander at the right time upon one of your blog posts just when I need some emplathy, courage or just a good old laugh at life.
    Keep doin’ it kidda – life is such a better place with you in it 😉

  9. I’m in love with that tub! Give me a bottle of wine (or better yet some good ol’ Kentucky bourbon) and some bubbles and I’d probably never leave the hotel room! 😉

  10. I always enjoy reading your blog posts, “travel” with you everywhere, and see how your life sems to be more buzzy now than when you were married ! Am I right ? Or it is because there were no Internet and Blogs then?? I love you hair long to the shoulder, and never liked it short: made you look older. Never change it again please I hope all your new movies and TV Show, come to Brazi..Even if you don´t have the time to Bog, at least post Pictures…i just don´t want to open the page and don´t see you..Best regards from Rio de Janeiro.. ㋡ ☼

  11. “Luxurium Tremens” This expression is wonderful and you get the perfect meaning ! I will use it in the future 🙂

  12. Jane, totally off topic, but I have a question for you. My parents and I were going through boxes of old papers, letters, etc. We found an old Movie Guide Map (a map with movie star home addresses) and were trying to figure out what year it is from. The map seems to be given from Frank Gilly – Standard Oil Dealer. Anyway, your father’s address was listed and we thought maybe you would know what time period he lived there. The address is 247 Chadbourne. It might have been from before you were born, though. It looks like on the map it is next to the Polo-Grounds, possibly in Brentwood? Do you know around what years he would have lived there? We would love to know how old this map/paper is.

    • It was my first house. We lived there from 1937 until 1942.

      • Thank you so much! Very cool! We found several Hollywood related things from the past. With the Movie Star map we also found postcards with movie star homes on them. (Judy Garland, Myrna Loy, Janet Ganor, Dorothy Lamour, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Claudette Colbert, Bing Crosby, George Burns, Tyrone Powers, Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple) I am not sure I would want my house on a bunch of postcards! Can you imagine! I think of your life growing up and being a part of Hollywood all of your life. You must have some fascinating stories, good and bad.

  13. Sorry to make another comment on this blog entry, but I have to say thank you. I just finished watching “And This is Where I Leave You”. I really enjoyed the movie. I don’t know if you, as actresses and actors, realize that when you make a movie, you are giving us a gift. You are giving us 2 hours to step away from the realities of our own lives and bring us somewhere else. You are allowing us to laugh, cry, think, and sometimes you even throw us the unexpected to wonder about. I love the magic of movies and I love that you have chosen to be a part of it. Keep making movies and television shows, Jane. Keep passing along the gift to us. And thank you for giving me some good laughs today, a few almost tears, and some time to reflect.
    By the way, was that your first on-screen kiss?

    • First on-screen kiss in 25 years. First one ever with a woman — on screen. I had my first one with a man in 25 years on “Grace & Frankie” several days ago.

  14. Hello Jane–I just saw TIWILY over the weekend. You were AMAZING and you looked GREAT!!! Even though my two favorite movies of yours are Barefoot in the Park and On Golden Pond, it prompted me to do a little digging on Netflix when I got home. “Julia” was available and I watched it for the first time in its entirety. I was freaked OUT about the box of candy AND the gray hat for at least an hour! Thank you for giving us SO much to watch and think about. It was a GREAT JF weekend! 🙂 S.

  15. Hi Jane. Congrats on your new movie going in at #3 on the movie grosses chart this week. Can’t wait to see it!

  16. Saw your first in twenty five years on screen Kiss today!
    That was a really NO Nonsense kiss! Thanks to the both of you for making it look so natural.
    The movie was great, the acting awesome, and I know it is not about homosexuality, but I am sure you will make a difference to a lot of gay people seeing the movie.
    Thanks,
    Nancy

  17. I really really hope I ever get to meet you, Jane, I really do. I’m sure I come across as a “crazy”. I’m not that. For whatever reason you are like a “counselor”; I can say whatever, without very much consequence. I appreciate you, a lot.

  18. Hi Jane, my diva!
    I can’t wait for the movie “This Is Where I Leave You” come to Brazil.
    Your performancer on the movies is so wonderful and great!!
    I would love to meet you someday, because you are an example to me.
    ( Sorry from my English, but I’m brazilian and I’m still learning)
    Love you a lot darling 😀
    Xoxo, Gra.

  19. Hi, Jane. I was deeply moved by the documentary featuring your insights on losing your mother. And, now, her story through your involvement with the Rape Foundation Board can help others. I wrote a novel that I believe will answer many open questions about what it was like for her to live with those memories. I’m happy to send it to your office. I don’t want anything from you — just to help. God bless you!

  20. I don’t usually write on blogs or facebook or anything but wanted to tell you how much fun your site is. It is truly nice to see pictures of the real people that you work with. I wanted to tell you that I saw a presentation that you and your daughter and son-in-law did in Santa Fe about the Gees Bend quilts. In fact, I sat next to your grandchildren and your dog. Boy were they well behaved, all of them including the dog and they were fairly little then, and so cute. I was quite impressed with their behavior and the presentation. I too lived in Atlanta and was aware of the quilts but never got to see them so enjoyed the exhibition as well. My favorite move of yours is still Julia, great film. Thanks for being so real and personable.

  21. Hi Jane, my husband and I saw TIWILY this past weekend; and we loved the movie; and you were just wonderful. I’m a new member; and I’m having so much fun reading, reading and catching up on your blogs, What a wonderful site!

    Thanks,
    Joyce

  22. What’s in a movie? A Pop-corn, a Pepsi, and a brief escape from all your worries.
    Jane Fonda, you were great, everyone was great. Terrific casting. If you haven’t seen this movie…go!
    Bonnie

  23. Dear Jane, somehow got back into this system. About Major Kurt Lee and his Smithsonian Piece. You can access it easily on the “NET”, under Uncommon Courage Breakout at Chosin Reservoir, I’d be happy to send you the E-mail paper printout, which have very nice comments from Major Lee about you
    .

  24. You´re fit.
    We live in avery strange world. It´s important being rebel.
    ALL IS A MANIPULATION.
    Even our mind is a place we cannot trust.
    I see these images. The human beings. Cinema…life is cinema
    cinema is life. All is fiction. Nothing is real. Our words a written by an invisible screenwriter.
    We´re puppets. Men and women performing a play. No freedom at all.
    My whole life is an attempt to overcome these shadows. A very lonely attempt. Dramatic attempt to be free. To project light. But it is a very lonelines labour. And everybody is afraid. My hand is crystalline. But everybody does not see the hand. Because y crystal.
    Time goes by. And all are blind. But I got faith.

  25. “This is where I leave you” What a wonderful ensemble of Artist. I laughed my ass off through out the whole movie. A surprise ending ( I knew something was coming, but couldn’t pin it down ) and the scene where you gave your impression of your son trying to lick his penis. I screamed very loud.
    Now I understand your going to be in Frederick, Maryland soon. I was born and raised there and would love to have come home to see you. I have at least a hundred relatives. All my first cousins and I, are all Artist of some kind. Many singers, writers, musicians, crafts, etc. And I turned out to have some of the biggest dreams. I’m a Hairdresser/Stylist myself. But what you don’t know is that we know each other from California. That was my dream, to be in Hollywood and to do Stars, Movies, Videos, Photoshoots, well you no. I’ve done your Jane Fonda Celebrity Show on the Studio Lot and a few other things. But it’s where I worked. Barron Hair Studio, Studio City. I worked there when you first started going to Barron. But you where part of that dream of mine, even though I didn’t get to do your Hair. Seven years I worked there and had many of talks with you. You would always touch my shoulder when you came through the Salon. I love you for that.
    Back to Frederick, if you need a restaurant or would like to go see my cousin Michele Mauro sing let me no. Dutches Daughter is the name of the restaurant I would recommend, ask for Joe Gideon who I graduated with and tell him you know me. I
    f you have time, walk the main street downtown, you’ll see what a charming city I grew up in. Too bad I would love to have taken my family to see you.
    Your playing at the Wienburg Center for the Arts. Alice Wienburg and her husband were big into the Arts. I guess you figured out i did her hair. She took me under her wings and exposed me to lots of new beginnings for me. I use to go to this theater when I was a kid to see some movies I probably shouldn’t have. Oh well. One of my Mother’s Sisters use to take me. I think she like these cult classics also. I remember she took me to see ” Valley of the Dolls” just to name one.
    Well good Luck there and I hope your well received.
    P.S. I was and am still in love with you.
    Sincerely
    George Bowers
    727-365-9739

    • Thanks, George. It’ll be in and out of Fredrick alas. xx

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