Skip to content

Jane Fonda Says Onscreen Love Interest Robert Redford "Did Not Like to Kiss"

She also said that her four-time co-star "has an issue with women."

During their hugely successful careers, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford have made four movies together—and Fonda says that she fell in love with her co-star on three of them. During a lengthy conversation about her life and work at the Cannes Film Festival on May 26, Fonda opened up about working with Redford, including developing real feelings for him and shooting love scenes. While she enjoyed being romantic with him onscreen, the 85-year-old star claimed that the leading man "did not like to kiss" and "was always in a bad mood."

Fonda and Redford first worked together on 1966's The Chase and went on to co-star in Barefoot in the Park (1967), The Electric Horseman (1979), and Our Souls at Night (2017). Both actors have spoken fondly of working together in the past, but Fonda explained in this recent interview why she didn't fall for Redford during their most recent film and even said that he "has an issue with women." Read on to find out more.

READ THIS NEXT: This Is Why You Never Hear From Robert Redford Anymore.

Fonda said Redford didn't like kissing.

During her panel, Fonda said that she was so enamored of Redford that she questioned herself whenever he didn't seem to be happy on set.

"Well, I was in love with him," she said (via Vulture). "I made four films with him, and for three, I was in love with him. Which meant I had a really good time."

But, she added, "He did not like to kiss. And he was always in a bad mood, and I always thought it was my fault."

She said he "has an issue with women."

Fonda went on to explain why she didn't fall for Redford when they were making their most recent movie, Our Souls at Night.

"I knew I was finally grown up, because when he'd come on to the set three hours late in a bad mood, I knew it wasn't my fault," she explained." We always had a good time. He's a very good person … He just has an issue with women." (Vulture notes that Fonda did not explain what she meant by that last comment.)

Fonda opened up in a 2015 interview with The Guardian about why she and her frequent leading man never got together. "I was always in love with Robert Redford," she said. "I made three films with him and nothing happened because I was married and he was married."

Fonda has been married three times: to director Roger Vadim from 1965 to 1973, to politician Tom Hayden from 1973 to 1990, and to CNN founder Ted Turner from 1991 to 2001. Redford was married to historian Lola Van Wagenen from 1958 to 1985, and has been married to artist Sibylle Szaggars since 2009.

She said he's a "great kisser," despite his apparent distaste for it.

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda at the New York premiere of "Our Souls at Night" in 2017
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

At a press conference for Our Souls at Night in 2017, Fonda had more to say about playing Redford's love interest multiple times.

"I just love the fact that these films bookend our careers," she said of Barefoot in the Park and Our Souls at Night, per The Hollywood Reporter. "We played that young love just getting married and now we play old people love and old people sex. Although, In my opinion, [director] Ritesh [Batra] cut the sex scene too soon."

She added of Redford, "He doesn't like sex scenes. I live for sex scenes! He's a great kisser. It was fun to kiss him in my 20s and then to kiss him again in my almost 80s."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Redford said working with Fonda was always "easy."

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda at the 2017 Venice Film Festival
Matteo Chinellato / Shutterstock

Fonda didn't need to worry that she was the one putting Redford in a bad mood. He's shared kind words about working with her, too.

"From my point of view, things with Jane have always been easy," he said at the press conference, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I've enjoyed being with someone where things just fall into place and don't require a lot of discussion. There's a love there and there's a connection there."

But he's also claimed that he had no idea how she felt about him in the early days. "I didn't know she was in love with me," he told The Telegraph in 2017 (via People).

Fonda has revealed some of her best kisses, on and off screen.

Redford may not have looked forward to their kissing scenes as much as Fonda did, but she has revealed other actors she enjoyed smooching. At the Cannes Film Festival, she praised Alain Delon, with whom she starred in 1964's Joy House.

"Oh, my lord!" she said of his good looks, according to Vulture. "Not so much now. He's had a rough life. But then, he was the most beautiful human being." She said that "He did like to kiss. We had nice love scenes."

In a 2021 interview on The Tonight Show, Fonda looked back on what she called her best kiss of all time—and it didn't come from a co-star. "My first kiss," she said. "I was in summer stock [theater] in Hyannis Port, [Massachusetts], and I had a crush on the stage manager whose name was James Franciscus. The audience is too young to know who that was. He became the star of Mr. Novak on TV."

Fonda then described the romantic moment and said it's never been topped for her. "He was so handsome," she said. "And he walked me out to the end of a pier and he kissed me. And the stars began to whirl, and the pier began to shake, and my knees gave way, and I slid down to a pile at his feet. I've never had a kiss like that ever since."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under