Jane Fonda‘s main turn in 1968 Barbara helped catapult her to worldwide fame – but she’s not thinking about passing on the mantle Sydney Sweeneywho will lead the upcoming remake.
“I try not to do it because I’m worried about what it’s going to be,” Fonda, 85, told me The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Friday, January 27. “I had an idea how to do that [original producer] Dino De Laurentiis, when he was alive, would not listen. But it could have been a truly feminist film.”
The Grace and Frankie alum played Barbarella in the original sci-fi movie, which was directed by her ex-husband Roger Vadim. The film follows astronaut Barbarella as she tries to thwart scientist Durand Durand’s (Milo O’Shea) nefarious plans for mass destruction. Barbara quickly became a cult classic upon its release – making Fonda a bona fide sex symbol of the decade.
“I started producing films in the 1970s. It was a much easier time,” the two-time Oscar winner recalled of her career during a 2015 panel at the Sundance Film Festival. “I took the easy way out for a while. I would say that ended with Barbara. I enjoyed doing something that helped a certain generation of men get their first erection. But then I became an activist.”
Fonda has since seen her as a way to draw attention to her activism, including her frequent DC “Fire Drill Friday” protests in defense of climate change.
One feeds the other 80 for Brady star told THR. “I recently thought, ‘Maybe I want to stop acting.’ I mean I’m 85. But then I realized my platform matters. It brings in people who wouldn’t normally get in. I was happy to turn 82 in prison [after my 2019 arrest after a protest]. Because I knew it would get a lot of attention.”
As Fonda looks ahead in her career, the 25-year-old Euphoria star will follow in her footsteps with a new version of Barbara.
“Time to save the universe,” Sweeney wrote via Instagram in October 2022, confirming her casting with a throwback snap of Barbarella’s 1964 comic book illustration.
The The Handmaid’s Tale alum’s celebrity friends immediately applauded her new performance, including Vanessa Hudgens, Nicholas Peltz and Glen Power. “It’s about time,” 34-year-old Hudgens replied at the time.
Learn more about Sweeney’s Barbara are not yet confirmed, although the actress is gearing up to start filming.
“I’m really excited to command all the attacks, but it’s also such an iconic, fun character,” says de Mrs Web star told Entertainment tonight later that October, playing coy when she talked to Fonda about the part. “I want to keep that fun alive Barbara. So I’m excited for everyone to see.