You know you’ll be obliged to talk about their new movie, Our Souls at Night, a love story set in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, because that’s why they’re there. You’ll most likely ask about their previous on-screen appearances, going all the way back to 1966 when they starred in The Chase alongside Marlon Brando. Maybe you’d follow up with questions about their chemistry in films like Barefoot in the Park (’67); what it’s like to be 79 (her) and 81 (him) and working in Hollywood; what kind of roles are available; how the industry has changed for better and worse; and obviously get them to fawn over each other a bit, professionally speaking, of course. (But if one happens to say the other is still such a good kisser, that is ok too.)
But would you ask Jane Fonda point blank—while Robert Redford is sitting right beside her—about plastic surgery?
Megan Kelly did Wednesday on the third episode of her new morning show.
"You've been an example to everyone in how to age beautifully and with strength and unapologetically," Kelly said to Fonda. "You admit you've had work done, which I think is to your credit. But you look amazing.... I read that you said you're not proud to say you've had work done. Why not?"
Fonda paused, but Kelly kept pushing: "Well, one of the things people think when they look at you is how good you look," Kelly said.
"Well, thanks," Fonda deadpanned. "Good attitude, good posture. I 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. We really want to talk about that now?” she said.
God no! It was cringeworthy! And Fonda reacted to Kelly’s uncouthness with equal parts grace and sass, I thought.
Here’s the thing: Of course Jane Fonda has had plastic surgery. I know this. You know this. She knows this. You can talk about ageism and the pressures of the industry without singling out Fonda—again, while Robert Redford is right beside her—and asking her about injections and lifts all before lunch.
Talk about wrong time, wrong place, which Fonda herself confirmed later in an interview with ET Canada when she was asked about Kelly’s comments.
“Given the fact that we don’t have a lot of time and [Robert Redford] is right here, it’s a weird thing to bring up — whether I’ve had plastic surgery or not,” Fonda said. “I have and I’ve talked about it. Seemed like the wrong time and place to ask that question.”
This is Kelly’s second slip up in just three days: on Monday she asked a Will and Grace fan if “it was true that you became a lawyer—and became gay—because of Will?”
Megyn Kelly Today, gone tomorrow? I don't know. Maybe these are just morning show growing pains: Kelly comes from evening news, where she routinely grilled (liberal) guests, which isn’t exactly daytime television’s modus operandi.
On Tuesday, Fonda appeared on Ellen: "There is eventually a love scene," she told Degeneres about Our Souls at Night. "I'm happy with the love scene. I'm unhappy because it was so short!"
See that? That’s daytime TV gold right there!