The question Jane Fonda refused to answer on live TV

One day after actress Debra Messing revealed that she regretted going on Megyn Kelly’s new NBC morning show, the embattled host managed to draw the ire of an even bigger Hollywood star.

Megyn sat down with Oscar-winning screen icon Jane Fonda on Wednesday, and in an ill-advised and poorly conceived move, decided to ask the 79-year-old actress to detail the plastic surgery she has had done over the years, the Daily Mail reported.

“You, you’ve been an example to everyone, on how to age beautifully and with strength. And unapologetically,” began Megyn, nervously drawing out her question.

“You admit you had work done. I think it’s to your credit. You look amazing. Have you … why did you say .. I read you felt you’re not proud to admit you had work done, why not?”


At that moment a steely Fonda stared Megyn straight in the eyes and very firmly asked: “We really want to talk about that now?”

Megyn tried her best to salvage the question, with Fonda at that point glancing over to her guest Robert Redford in disbelief that she was being asked that question while out promoting the pair’s new film, Our Souls at Night.

“Well, one of the things people think about when they look at you, is how amazing you look,” said Megyn.

A composed-as-ever but noticeably chilly Fonda at that point demurred: “Thanks. Good attitude. Good posture. Take care of myself.”

She then took control of the interview from Megyn by telling the host: “Let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, Our Souls at Night, rather than plastic surgery.”

Redford then looked at his co-star and showed his support for her by laughing and saying: “Back to that, huh.”

Fonda then launched into her own talk about the film, no longer waiting or wanting to take one of Kelly’s questions.

“You kind of have a choice in life, when you get to be close to 80, or even before then, what you want to do with your life. And my character, Addie, in this movie, she knows there’s a lot more time behind her than in front,” explained Fonda.

“And she doesn’t want to go down lonely and scared. She’s been a widow, living in this house by herself. And she’s lonely and scared. And she’s a shy person, who is not someone who would normally do this. But she girds her loins and decides…”

Redford jumped in saying: “That’s where I come in. You need to be girded.”

Redford later sang the praises of his co-star, who he previously worked with on such films as Barefoot In the Park and The Chase.

The rest of the interview was a wash, with Megyn getting no response from Fonda when she launched into a bit about how she was an aerobics instructor for 10 years shortly after the actress released her bestselling exercise tapes.

And to close it all out, Fonda drove home just how little she cared for Megyn’s questions and how proud she was of her looks and how she has aged when the host asked her guests: “On behalf of our audience member, Victoria wanted to ask, if you could go back to any age in your life, what would it be? I ask that to both of you.”

Fonda very curtly replied: “Right now. I wouldn’t want any other time.”

It was a brilliant response from Fonda, who is a global ambassador for cosmetics giant L’Oreal and just last week dazzled on the red carpet at the Emmy Awards.

Jane Fonda. Photo / Getty Images

Jane Fonda. Photo / Getty Images

Social media users were quick to respond to the segment, with many remarking about how gracefully Fonda handled the questions about her looks and aging.

“One of the things I like about Jane that’s manifest in this film, is she is a force. As long as I’ve known Jane, she always has been moving forward. And doesn’t look back,” said Redford.

“And whatever pain, whatever problem she’s had in the past, remains in the past. And she keeps moving forward. It’s an admirable quality. And few people have it like Jane does.”

“Props to the AMAZING Jane Fonda for changing the topic on #MegynTODAY,” wrote JB on Twitter.

“Jane Fonda is my hero,” wrote Christina.

And Megan wrote: “@Janefonda Wow, of course you Knew how to deal w poor interviewer! Love ya!”

Others expressed their disbelief that Megyn would pursue a line of questioning about Fonda’s looks as she appeared to promote her new film.

“Jane Fonda vs Megyn Kelly is like Muhammad Ali vs the understudy of the person who wiped up Ali’s sweat,” said author Molly Knight.

“Megyn Kelly is over. Call the fight.”

She went on to write: “She doesn’t want to talk about politics anymore, so she is free to spend her unearned millions founding the White Santa Institute.”

Knight closed out by writing: “When a woman goes on your television show to talk about her work, do not ask about her body.”

Fonda has indeed spoken about procedures she has had done in the past, but only while promoting her fitness and wellness projects.

This latest debacle comes after Messing, the Emmy-winning star of Will & Grace, was asked on Instagram why she appeared on the show with her fellow cast members on Monday.

“But why did you guys do the Megyn Kelly show? That’s a fail!!” asked a fan of the actress.

Messing immediately responded to the question, stating: “Honestly I didn’t know it was MK until that morning. The itinerary just said Today Show appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”

Megyn has a made a number of controversial comments in the past about the LGBT community.

On one episode of The Kelly File she told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins: “Gay rights are more and more protected in this country, Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much.”

That clip was highlighted on Sunday when it appeared in a clip package that aired on Last Week Tonight.

Megyn provided Perkins with a platform to spread his anti-gay message on her Fox News show throughout the years, as he appeared over 30 times to speak with the anchor.

Her questions to the cast of Will & Grace on Monday meanwhile were shockingly banal and had all been asked and answered by the actors countless times before in the 10 months since they reunited to film a short video in support of Hillary Clinton ahead of the election last year.

That segment then ended on an incredibly awkward note after a gay superfan, Russell Turner, briefly joined the group on stage for some hugs with the cast and a minute-long interview with Megyn.

The brief interview with Turner began with Megyn asking if it was true that he became both a lawyer and gay because of the show and its leading man, played by actor Eric McCormack.

Turner jokingly affirmed that was in fact the case, while also kindly providing a bit of color and humor to the polar question by adding that Will had the perfect ‘trifecta’ in that he was gay, a lawyer and had the “best apartment in New York City.”

He was then tossed back into the audience after his one question, with Megyn sending him off by stating: “I don’t know about the lawyer thing. But I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing will work out great.”

That comment appears to be the one that upset Messing and others on Twitter.

“Megyn Kelly is every mom trying waaaaay to hard to ‘relate’ to her gay son but instead just makes it waaaaay worse,” wrote Will Kellogg.

“I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing are going to work out great,” Megyn Kelly said to a gay W&G superfan this morning. “Really,” commented Kevin Fallon.

In a subsequent tweet he described the moment by stating: “It is what it looks like to watch $15 million set on fire in real time.”

And Josh Scheer wrote: “I think the ‘gay thing’ is probably gonna work out a lot better than @MegynKelly’s ‘@Today thing.”

However Sean Hayes who plays Jack McFarland in the show shared a picture to Twitter saying he was ‘having fun’ at the show.

And a source who was at the show said: “She was obviously making a joke, that was clear to the ‘superfan’ – who was ecstatic, and the audience.

“It became even clearer when she spent much of the interview asking the show’s creators how proud they were of the positive social impact of Will & Grace and the progress it brought about for gay rights.”

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