Back in September 2017, Jane Fonda was promoting her new film Our Souls at Night co-starring Robert Redford. The actors appeared together on Megyn’s NBC show, Megyn Kelly Today, as part of the publicity tour, and the interview included talk about the film, some eyebrow-raising comments from Fonda about Redford, and the now infamous question about the actress’ plastic surgery.
On Wednesday’s program, Megyn was live from Las Vegas with her friends Yael Denbo and Joelle Cosentino and she opened up for the first time about what really went down during that interview and why – despite her self-described “checkered history” with Fonda – she still values her perspective on friendship.
Behind the Scenes at NBC
Four and a half years after the NBC exchange with Fonda, Megyn revealed to her friends what led her to ask the Oscar winner about aging gracefully to begin with. “I’m going to break some news here,” she stated.
As it turns out, Fonda had been saying what Megyn described as “all this weird sex talk” about Redford, which was making him uncomfortable. “During the commercial break, Robert Redford’s publicist specifically asked me if I would try to keep her off of that, if I would redirect the conversation to something else,” Megyn recalled. “So I’m like, sure, I will do this favor for Robert Redford and, frankly, a favor to Jane Fonda too because it was a little awkward.”
Returning from the break, Megyn knew she needed to change the subject. “I thought I would come back in with something she talked about a million times before, her plastic surgery,” Megyn shared. “And it was relevant because [the movie] is about aging and a woman coming to terms with what that means, so I thought it would be the non-awkward place to go.” Needless to say, that assumption was wrong. The exchange went as follows:
Megyn: You’ve been an example to everyone in how to age beautifully and with strength and unapologetically. You admit you’ve had work done, which I think is to your credit. But you look amazing… I read you said you felt not proud to admit you had work done. Why not?
Fonda: We really want to talk about that?
Megyn: Well, one of the things people think about when they look at you is how amazing you look.
Fonda: Well, thanks. Good attitude. Good posture. Take care of myself. But let me tell you why I love this movie that we did Our Souls at Night, rather than plastic surgery.
Fonda certainly didn’t take the question as a lifeline it was intended to be. “I’m really just trying to steer you off of your weird obsession with your sex scenes with Robert Redford who you’re making uncomfortable,” Megyn shared. “I’m doing you a solid – take the gift I’m giving you.”
Jane Fonda’s Sage Advice on Female Friendship
Despite the awkward exchange, Megyn was happy to give credit where credit is due. During an appearance on CBS Sunday Morning to promote her new film 80 For Brady, Fonda had what Megyn referred to as “great and educational” insight into female friendships:
“Women’s friendships are very different than men’s friendships, and they are very important to our health. Because you guys, you kind of sit side by side and watch sports or cars or women. Women sit facing each other, eye-to-eye and they say, ‘I’m in trouble. I need you. Can you help me?’ You know, we’re not afraid of being vulnerable. My favorite ex-husband, Ted Turner, said to me, ‘You don’t make friends after 60.’ But I think that he’s really wrong. What you have to do is you have to be intentional… You have to pursue people that you want to be friends with, and you have to say, ‘I’m intentionally wanting to be your friend.’ And it works. People hear that and then they stick around, and you develop new friendships.”– Jane Fonda, CBS Sunday Morning
Calling it “such good advice,” Megyn and her own friends considered their own relationships. “I love our group of friends,” Denbo shared. “We’ve all scattered across the country now… but our friendships have stayed together.”
Megyn credited Denbo with making sure those bonds endure. “You’re really good at that,” she said. “If somebody doesn’t get back to my text, I feel rejected and I go away.” Denbo, however, is persistent. “You’re the glue,” Megyn concluded. “You’re an important piece of making the contact continue to happen.”
You can check out Megyn’s full conversation with her friends by tuning in to episode 494 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.