//Jane Fonda: ‘I’m very rarely afraid. Maybe emotional intimacy scares me’

Jane Fonda: ‘I’m very rarely afraid. Maybe emotional intimacy scares me’

After 50 years of getting arrested, Jane Fonda is still protesting at 82 – this time over the climate crisis. She talks Hollywood, husbands and activism now

Read an exclusive extract from her new memoir, What Can I Do?

When Jane Fonda was arrested in Washington DC last December, days shy of her 82nd birthday, there was an overwhelming sense of history repeating, and not just because this was the fifth time she had been arrested in almost as many weeks. Fonda was taking part in her very public – and ongoing, albeit now online – protest against what she sees as the US government’s criminal inertia over the climate crisis. When he heard about Fonda’s arrests, President Donald Trump crowed to a rally: “They arrested Jane Fonda – nothing changes! I remember 30, 40 years ago they arrested her. She’s always got the handcuffs on, oh man.”

Trump was partially right, although he underestimated the time. Fonda was first arrested in 1970; half a century later she is still protesting, still being arrested and still being mocked by US presidents. On Richard Nixon’s notorious White House tapes, he can be heard discussing Fonda in 1971, dismissing her even more public protests against US involvement in the Vietnam war. “Jane Fonda. What in the world is the matter with Jane Fonda?” he said. “I feel so sorry for Henry Fonda, who’s a nice man. She’s a great actress. She looks pretty. But boy, she’s often on the wrong track.” Less than a year later, Nixon would be taped plotting the Watergate cover-up. Someone should tell Trump that Fonda has an excellent track record of winning the long game, and that her critics don’t.

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Read more: theguardian.com