×

Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin Talk the Realities of Aging at ‘Grace and Frankie’ Season 4 Premiere

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s titular characters prove that women can still enjoy life while aging in the upcoming fourth season of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.”

“The fastest growing demographic in the world are older women,” Fonda told Variety. “I think it’s one of the reasons that the show is popular because Lily and I are old, and we show that it doesn’t have to be all bad.”

Tomlin joined Fonda and added, “Certainly not. Look at her.” “Look at her!” Fonda replied.

Both women addressed the season’s heightened topic of physical pains and changes that accompany aging. “One of the things people like about the show is that it’s funny, but it is also reality based.” Fonda said.

Tomlin said, “All these things could befall people of a lesser age, but it’s more fun when it befalls us.”

Show creators Howard J. Morris and Marta Kauffman wanted the theme of breaking down to be a focal point in fourth season because of the societal view of older people.

“There’s this constant sense that anybody who’s above a certain age is incapable,” Kauffman said.

Morris agreed adding, “We want to give voice to those people and that’s our show.”

Actors Peter Gallagher and Ernie Hudson, who play Grace and Frankie’s love interests respectively, commented on the significance of having a show starring older women.

“When I was younger, I used to love watching older actions,” Gallagher said. “I loved watching the lines in their faces and imagining where they’d been and their wisdom and all that life. Of course our cast has no lines on their faces, but they still have a lot of life. That is has less to do with age than lives well lived — lives and stories well told.

Hudson specifically spoke on the importance of the show given the current #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. “They say women have been disenfranchised for a while. Can you imagine older women?” Hudson said.

In the past, he added, his character would have made decisions without discussing it with his partner.

“These are older women who have power and who claim their power,” Hudson said. “They make their demands known, and they’re right to do and live is as important as mine. It is a little hard sometimes for men to accept that, but that’s life.”

Brooklyn Decker, who plays Fonda’s daughter, gave credit to the women on the show’s writing team for helping develop strong lead characters that experience multiple stages in life and display different layers.

“I think having a show that is written really heavily by females proves that women can do it and do it really well,” Decker said.

“Grace and Frankie” Season 4 premieres Jan. 19 on Netflix.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Keke Palmer BlogHer19 Summit

    Keke Palmer Brought to Tears Accepting Truth Teller Award at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit

    Keke Palmer stood surprised and wide-mouthed on the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit stage as she was presented with the Truth Teller Award for her recent acting work — and her viral “sorry to this man” clip. “This means so much,” the multi-hyphenated star softly whispered as she got teary-eyed upon accepting the award. Last week, the [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content