Jane Fonda Says, Confusingly/Inspiringly, That She's Younger Now Than She's Ever Been

Giving hope to women everywhere.

Eternally foxy Jane Fonda was on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert recently to promote her new movie, Youth, an Italian comedy-drama film about starring two elderly best friends named Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) and Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) who reflect upon the meaning of life while vacationing in the Swiss Alps. 

Given the theme of the film, the stunning 77-year-old lost no time dropping some major truths about aging herself after Colbert asked her what she would say to her 40-year-old self. 

"I wouldn't go back 10 years," she said. "I was so old at 20. I was ancient at 30. I'm so much younger now." 

Wow, that is some deep—if counterintuitive—sh*t. We spew adages like "Age is Just a Number" and "It's Not the Years in Your life, It's the Life in Your Years," but then you see how Hollywood treats older women and talk to your grandparents and figure bitterness, regret, and bad joints are all that really await you. And then here is Jane Fonda, looking insanely hot at 77 and starring in successful Netflix series Grace and Frankie, and you realize it *is* possible. 

"When people say, 'When were you your happiest?' I have to say 'Now," she said. 

So, what's the secret to this joy that has taken her decades to cultivate? She just doesn't give anymore f*cks. 

"It's like what the hell do you have to lose?" she said. "What can they do to me now that they haven't already tried?"

The feminist icon then went through a series of lady-empowering emojis that Colbert prepared for her. She vetoed burning bras but approved Miley Cyrus, Leaning In, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, along with exercising Jane Fonda. Because that's important.

Microphone, Flag, Tie, Public speaking, Speech, Varnish, Podium, Conversation, Official, White-collar worker,

(Image credit: Archives)

Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV. 

Diana Bruk
Viral Content Editor

My writing has regularly appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Salon, VICE, Guernica, The New York Observer, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Esquire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and many more publications. I was previously the Senior News Editor at Best Life Online and the Viral Content Editor in the Newsroom of Hearst Digital Media. My portfolio consists of a vast and diverse body of work that includes personal essays, lifestyle articles, breaking news posts, and viral content. My areas of expertise, however, are Russia, sex and relationships, and mental wellness.