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Jane Fonda chats about stage acting and ... 'Nurse Jackie?'

January 29, 2011 |  6:00 am

JaneJane Fonda’s self-described “third act” in life is going gangbusters: front and center is the Moises Kaufman play she’ll be starring in, “33 Variations,” which begins previews Sunday at CTG’s Ahmanson Theater. The play is about Beethoven’s 33 variations on a single waltz that was written by his publisher Anton Diabelli.

Then there are the recently released fitness videos for boomers and seniors; a robust blog  (at; a new book about aging due out this September; two just-completed films and an upcoming LACMA film retrospective opening Feb. 11.

Yet all these disparate parts seem bound by a sense of calm and purpose. Isn’t that what third acts are all about, anyway?

But what Fonda really wants to do at this point in her life, she told Culture Monster in a recent interview, is … cable.

“The most interesting, edgy, exciting cultural statements are made on cable TV now,” she says. “'Nurse Jackie,'” for example, I think is amazing. 'Weeds,'The Big C,' really interesting stuff. I would like to find a way to express, in a television series, what it’s like to be a woman of my age in the world today.”

Lest anyone suggest that a woman’s role, in their third act, in the world today is about mellowing,  consider Fonda’s take on the state of things.

“The world is in a major crisis. I think if it’s going to change – our really seeing what we’re doing to the earth – it will be up to women, older women,” she says.  “We are damaging our life support system. Women can relate to that. In the places where women are really in leadership – Chile, Liberia – you can see the difference.”

Click here for the full profile of Fonda in Sunday’s Arts & Books section.

-- Deborah Vankin

 Photo: Jane Fonda, in rehearsal at the Music Center; credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times