Jane Fonda on ‘Grace and Frankie’: TV Acting Is ‘An Entirely Different Animal’

The stars of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” celebrated new beginnings at its season two premiere Sunday afternoon with a screening at the Harmony Gold Theatre in West Hollywood.

The two episodes screened included the show’s usual mix of comedy and pathos. The series picks up moments after the end of season one as Sol (Sam Waterston) is returning home to Robert (Martin Sheen) after having sex with ex-wife Frankie (Lily Tomlin). No spoilers here, but as in life, a curveball is thrown that interrupts the main characters’ best laid plans.

Tomlin said she and longtime friend and costar Jane Fonda have gotten along famously for more than 35 years — without having “too many quarrels.”

Fonda, best known for her film roles, described television acting as foreign territory for her.

“Episodic TV is an entirely different animal: being in every episode, working very long hours, not entirely knowing the arc of the entire season, having to learn lines very quickly,” she shared.

Waterston — who led “Law & Order” for 16 years  — offered advice about what he’s learned from a long career in television acting. “The opportunity to have a good time should never be turned down,” he revealed.

The after-party was an intimate gathering at The Church Key, where Fonda was surrounded by friends at her booth. Enjoying the party from her section, Fonda occasionally put her head on boyfriend Richard Perry‘s shoulder and chatted with guests such as singer-songwriter Carole King.

Waterston added, “When I first started out, I did nothing but comedies and I was afraid I’d get stuck there. So I struggled and got myself taken seriously, then no one would let me tell a joke. Finally, someone’s letting me tell a joke again and it’s really good.”

Waterston was all smiles as he mingled with friends and well-wishers, while attorney Gloria Allred chatted and took photos with “Grace and Frankie” co-creator and exec producer Marta Kauffman and her kids. Kauffman’s daughter, Hannah, is an associate producer on the show, and her son, Sam, works on the music.

More cast members schmoozing included a glowing, pregnant June Diane Raphael with husband Paul Scheer, Ernie Hudson (returning this season as Frankie’s boyfriend,) Peter Cambor, Baron Vaughn, Ethan Embry and Brooklyn Decker.

Season two of the Netflix original series debuts May 6 on Netflix.

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