Tags: fonda | reagan | movie | critics

Jane Fonda Tells Her Critics: ‘Get a Life’

Image: Jane Fonda Tells Her Critics: ‘Get a Life’

Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 02:10 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Jane Fonda has a flip, three-word response to people outraged at her casting as Nancy Reagan in a new Hollywood movie — “Get a life.’’

In fact, the Oscar-winning liberal seems fine with the fury she’s sparked portraying the conservative former First Lady — including a Navy veteran’s launch of a group called “Boycott Hanoi Jane Playing Nancy Reagan.’’

“If he creates hoopla, it will cause more people to see the movie," Fonda told The Hollywood Reporter. "I figured it would tweak the right. Who cares?

"I might not have always agreed with Nancy Reagan, but I admire her, and I'd never try to insert my views when playing her. I tried to be who she was: a forceful, loyal, powerful first lady.’’

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But Larry Reyes, who founded the protest group on Facebook, isn’t impressed.

"The moviemakers are free to choose, but it seems like it was their way of giving people like me the middle finger," Reyes told the Reporter.

Fonda plays Reagan in “The Butler,’’ a movie about the life of Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents as head butler at the White House from 1952 to 1986.

Her husband Ronald Reagan is portrayed by British actor Alan Rickman.

Others in the movie include James Marsden and Minka Kelly as John and Jackie Kennedy; Robin Williams and Melissa Leo as Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower; and Liev Schreiber and Wanda Leigh as Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson.

In addition, John Cusack plays Richard Nixon and Orlando Eric Street portrays President Barack Obama.

But it is Fonda’s casting in the movie — directed by Lee Daniels and scheduled for release in October by the Weinstein Company — that has created the most controversy.

On the IMDB.com, the online Bible of movie and TV productions, posters have ripped the film because of Fonda — nicknamed “Hanoi Jane’’ for her wartime alliance with the North Vietnamese.

“I liked the premise of the movie, but I won't pay a single dime of my money to see it with Ms. Fonda in it. I will NEVER forget!’’ one poster said.

Another wrote: “When I saw who they picked to play Nancy Reagan, I couldn't believe it! Besides how she betrayed the United States and all Americans in 1972, she also was very much against Reagan's politics. Casting her is a slap in the face of all true Americans.’’

And one said: “Nancy Reagan should be appalled at the idea of being portrayed by Hanoi Jane.’’

Oddly enough, she isn’t. Nancy Reagan herself actually gave her blessing to the casting of Fonda, a fact that delights the 75-year-old star who’s the ex-wife of tycoon Ted Turner.

“She’s smarter than all those extreme right-wingers who are angry that I’m playing a woman whose politics are different than mine,’’ Fonda told the Reporter. Come on, it’s a movie!”



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