Working on Netflix’s Grace & Frankie seems like it would be a blast between the show’s hilarious writing and star-studded cast. But Jane Fonda recently revealed that filming the show wasn’t always fun for her, especially in the beginning.
The actress got candid about her early experiences filming the show with The Hollywood Reporter as part of the magazine's annual comedy roundtable, where she opened up about the struggles she faced trying to relate to her character, Grace.
Fonda explained that it took longer than she had expected to understand the character and that the process of doing so took a tremendous toll on her emotionally and mentally.
"It took me a season to come to care for my character. I had to go back into therapy and start Prozac," Fonda said, noting that the process had even triggered a "nervous breakdown."
"I had a nervous breakdown during the first season and I discovered it's because the very first episode our husbands tell us that they are going to leave us after 40 years and marry each other and that triggered abandonment…oh, this is not a good thing to talk about (chokes up a bit)," Fonda continued. "It was a big trigger, and I didn't realize that a character in a comedy could actually trigger something very profound. And so, I love her and I learned to invite her into the room. After the first season, I couldn't have written a backstory for her; and then I wrote 30 pages without ever stopping. But I don't really want to have to be anything like her. We have too much in common as it is."
Playing Grace has allowed Fonda to fulfill her mission of "giving a cultural face to older women" in Hollywood, something she's been actively pursuing since her 40s.
The actress also left the panel of actresses, which included Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Alex Borstein, Maya Rudolph, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with the advice to embrace all the peaks and valleys of their careers.
"And it doesn't have to peak and then be all downhill. I am over the hill in a chronological sense, but there is a whole vista out there that I didn't anticipate," she said. "So you can reach the peak and then you can go down and it can be just as interesting. It's a good idea not to pay too much attention to what other people think are the peaks and valleys."
Are you shocked to hear that Jane had such a difficult time relating to her character? Are you a fan of Grace & Frankie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!