Jane Fonda has donned many caps: that of an acclaimed actress, fashion model, author, fitness expert, and an activist. Lately, activism seems to have taken centre stage for the octogenarian star, given the dire picture climate change presents.
Every Friday, for the past five weeks, the actor has been organising demonstrations against political inaction when it comes to climate change. She has been urging political leaders to act on climate change, stating that in just 11 years the condition will be irrevocably worsened due to political inaction.
Each time, Jane has been arrested every Friday, with images of the actor handcuffed and being taken to jail taking Twitter by storm. But jail hasn’t deterred the veteran actor.
The two-time Academy Award winner has made going to jail for the right reasons the new cool; it will take a long time before the image of a handcuffed Jane Fonda in the long red coat fades from public memory. Now, the 81-year-old has said that the iconic coat will be the last piece of clothing she will ever buy.
In the last forty years or so, Jane has never shied away from being vocal about things that matter to her, be it war or women’s rights. She strongly opposed the US war against other countries like Vietnam and Iraq, and has been a fierce feminist through and through.
Here’s a look at some wise words from this prolific actor, feminist, and environmental activist.
On activism being the need of the hour:
“This is the new normal: we have to be out there, we have to be risking arrests, we have to engage in civil disobedience because we have very little time and what has to happen is so huge.”
“I don’t want to get arrested but I am willing to risk getting arrested because we need to up the ante and do more. I am trying to take a lesson from student climate strikers.”
“Don't think there's anything more important than making peace before it's too late. And it almost always falls to the child to try to move toward the parent.”
“The saddest part of being in jail was seeing the extent to which this country doesn’t prioritise social safety nets and mental health services.”
“The more I learnt, the more I realised we are not going to solve the problem unless it is holistic. It has to be a win-win for everybody.”
“Once you know something, you have to use whatever power you have and as a celebrity, you can do stuff.”
“We only have eleven years. Leave our comfort zone and become more of an activist.”
“In this country, the only way a minority can get anything done is to make a little noise.”
On humanity and living the best life:
“Let us always choose, love, empathy, and our shared humanity.”
“If you allow yourself, you can become stronger in the very places that you've been broken.”
“We are not meant to be perfect; we are meant to be whole.”
“I think most of us have many personas inside us at the outset, but over time we lean to the one that is dominant and the others atrophy for lack of use. The difference with actors is that we are paid to become all the people inside us and to bring into us all the people we may have met along the way. Thus, we remain instinctively aware of, unsettled by, curious about, empathetic toward, and eager to display all those potential beings we carry.”
On keeping the learner in us alive
“You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don't find easy, or learn an awful lot very fast, which is what I tried to do.”
“The bravest soldiers aren't unafraid, but they're the ones who are able to harness their fear on behalf of courage.”
“Ask questions. Stay curious. It’s much more important to stay interested than to be interesting.”
“The Winter Soldiers showed us that redemption is possible when truth is spoken. Nothing can change until we acknowledge what is—as I have learned over time.”