Recently, The Huffington Post joined Jane Fonda for lunch in Midtown Manhattan to talk about a wide range of topics, one of which was the upcoming HBO series, "The Newsroom" (Sunday, June 24 at 10 p.m. ET).
Created by Aaron Sorkin, "The Newsroom" chronicles the behind the scenes drama of a cable news network -- and Fonda, who was married to CNN founder Ted Turner for ten years, just may have an insiders knowledge.
In "The Newsroom," Fonda plays the recurring role of Leona Lansing, the CEO of the fictional network parent company Atlantic World Media that is, as Fonda explains, somewhere in between Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch.
You have "The Newsroom" coming up.
Oh, God, a fantastic series. I'm so proud to be in it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel you have some inside knowledge of the inner workings of a newsroom.
Well, I do. Being with Ted for 10 years, it helps me feel very comfortable in that environment. I know what it looks like. I know what it feels like -- it doesn't intimidate me. So, it did help. Even though my character is not like Ted -- or like Rupert. It's somewhere in between.
What should we look forward to from your character?
Well, I'm a "recurring guest star." That's what they call it. I only learned that the other day. I didn't know how to describe what I do because I've never done a series like this before.
What is the message of the series going to be?
Well, I've read that Aaron says that it's mostly about the relationships -- and they are fascinating relationships -- about the characters that are in the newsroom. With Emily Mortimer and... well, you know who's in it. It's very interesting. The newsroom, to me -- and I play the head of the whole parent company -- the newsroom is less than three percent of my bottom line. But, because it's the newsroom, it can create a lot of trouble for me. So, I can rattle a lot of cages. But, my dilemma in this first season is what's happening because of what happens to Jeff Daniels in the course of the series. I don't feel like I'm in a position to say, you know, what the core of the story is. Except that I think it's about truth. Let's just tell the truth.
You mentioned that it's become difficult to find good roles as you've grown older. Is a role like this the exception?
And it doesn't hurt that Aaron Sorkin is involved.
Totally. A complicated character with fascinating lines to say. And I'm also going to play Nancy Reagan in "The Butler," that Lee Daniels is directing. It's a cameo, but it will be fun. And then I have an interesting role in a movie called "Better Living Through Chemistry," which is a small, dark and crazy comedy.
"The Newsroom" premieres on Sunday, June 24 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.
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