Tomlin, who joked Thursday night that she and her co-star were on the “dark side of 70s” while discussing the second season of their binge-worthy show at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, said they’ve learned how to embrace aging, even in Hollywood.
“When you’re looking at it from the outside, it’s terrifying,” Fonda, 78, said during a panel discussion, moderated by Gayle King. “But when you’re smack dab in the middle, it’s not scary. In fact, it’s better.”
Fonda continued, “It’s hard to be young. There’s so many what ifs!”
Tomlin, 76, agreed, jokingly addressing younger members of the audience: “I pity you!”
Getting serious, however, Tomlin said she has also come to terms with aging.
“As time goes, you’re so aware of time. When you’re 30 or even 40, you’re aware,” she said. “But as I’ve gotten older and time is definitely whittling out, I’m certainly not so terrified of it or stricken by it.”
Fonda said growing older has taught her a lot about life, including her love life. She explained what her relationship with boyfriend, music producer Richard Perry, taught her. The two have been dating since 2009.
“It took me 72 years to realize, ‘Oh, kindness is a good thing to look for.’ What a thought. No one ever told me that,” she said.
When asked by King, 61, whether she ever had kindness in previous relationships, Fonda was hesitant before answering, “No.”
“[The relationships were] interesting, though; fun and interesting. But, no, kindness is a new thing, and I’m extremely grateful for it; kindness and forgiveness, especially when you’re 78.”
Fonda added that if she had met such a man before, “I would’ve fled.”
Fonda said the other upside to being an older woman in Hollywood is the roles she gets to play, including her latest as Grace in “Grace and Frankie” opposite Tomlin. The two play frenemies who grow closer after they discover their husbands are in love with each other.
The two-time Oscar Award-winning actress said she’s proud the Netflix series, which returns May 6, has “given a face to older women.”
“Old women say to me, ‘I watch the show because it gives me hope.’ Really? That is so great to feel like you’re giving people hope,” Fonda said. “Because life isn’t easy, you know?”
The second season of “Grace and Frankie,” (Ahem! Spoilers ahead!) begins with the aftermath of Frankie’s sleeping with her ex-husband, Sol, played by Sam Waterston, just days before he’s set to marry his fiance, Robert, portrayed by Martin Sheen.
“Wait until you see the last episode of the second season,” Fonda said.