Jane Fonda Says Jennifer Lopez "Never Apologized" for Cutting Her Face on Set
The two actors played enemies in the 2005 comedy Monster-in-Law.
In 2005, Jane Fonda made her return to the big screen after a 15-year hiatus in the comedy Monster-in-Law. The outlandish premise revolves around an engaged woman (Jennifer Lopez) and her disdainful future mother-in-law (Fonda), and while the movie wasn't lauded by critics, it was a hit with audiences. One silly scene that anyone who watched the film will remember well is the one in which Fonda and Lopez's slap each other repeatedly. Fonda can also vividly recall the scene—for a somewhat shocking reason.
During a March 23 appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, Fonda said that Lopez accidentally injured her while they were filming the slap scene and has—to this day—never apologized. Read on to see what she had to say and to find out what Lopez has said about the on-set mishap.
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The comedy is about contentious in-laws.
In Monster-in-Law, Fonda plays Viola, a mother who is very unhappy with her son Kevin's (Michael Vartan) choice for a wife. Lopez co-stars as Charlie, Kevin's fiancée, who finds out about Viola's plan to get rid of her and seeks revenge.
On Charlie's wedding day, she and Viola get into a fight where they take turns slapping one another. Charlie slaps Viola first, she quickly apologizes, and Viola counters, "You don't go and slap somebody and then apologize! Get some backbone!"
Fonda claims Lopez didn't say she was sorry in real life, either.
Speaking about the iconic scene on The Drew Barrymore Show, Fonda made it sound as though Lopez took Viola's words to heart.
During a segment in which Drew Barrymore asked Fonda and fellow guest Lily Tomlin about their past roles, the host brought up Monster-in-Law.
"Well, okay, the thing that comes to mind right away is, we have a slapping scene," Fonda said. "I slap her, she slaps me, I slap her. Well, Jennifer—as per Jennifer—she had this enormous diamond ring. And so, when she slapped me one of the times, it cut open across my eye, my eyebrow. You know, and she's never apologized."
It's not the first time Fonda has mentioned being injured on that set. Around the time of the movie's release, she told reporters of the physical scene (via The Oklahoman), "Oh, they were fake slaps, but I did get cut."
Best Life has reached out to a representative for Lopez for comment on Fonda's recent comments.
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Lopez has told a different version of the story.
In 2019, Lopez spoke out about the incident herself. In a YouTube video, Lopez looked back on her time filming Monster-in-Law and told the behind-the-scenes story of the slap fight. (Warning: explicit language in the video above.)
"This was one of the most fun scenes I've ever done," Lopez said. "[Fonda] really, really went for it. So did I, and then I punched her in the eye by mistake."
She continued, "I was so afraid to hit Jane Fonda in the face or hurt her in any way. And really, her character was very much like her and my character, at the time, was very much like me. I was so afraid of her, and she was so brave and like, 'Just hit me! Don't worry about it!'"
Lopez said that "the scene took on a life of its own" as the two actors rehearsed. "I don't even think we were supposed to slap each other," she explained. At one fake strike, she said that her "nail, like, went up into her eye," giving Fonda "a blood blister."
"I was mortified," Lopez declared. "I was like, 'I'm so sorry,' and she was like, 'It's fine, it's fine."
They became friends during filming anyway.
In the same YouTube video, Lopez talked about how honored she was to work with her Monster-in-Law co-star.
"Working with Jane Fonda was one of the highlights of my career," the singer and actor said of the Oscar winner. "She is such a powerful presence and so in the moment. It is everything you dream of when you're coming up as an actress and you think about working with the greats."
"I worried that she'd be a diva, but at least I didn't see that at all," Fonda said of Lopez to Live About when the movie was released. "She was professional. She was on time. She knew her lines. She's very smart. We got along great. I didn't get to know her super well because she's so busy. The time that she was able to stay on set in between takes we would talk and enjoy each other. It was fun."
In 2013, Fonda was on hand to celebrate Lopez receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "We became friends on Monster-in-Law, a film where I had to hate Jennifer," she said in her speech. "It was the hardest acting job I ever had."