Jane Fonda Reveals The 1 Movie Inmates Recognized Her From During 2019 Jail Stint

Jane Fonda says she wasn’t recognized in jail — until she mentioned Jennifer Lopez.

Despite her Oscar-winning career and history of joining political protests, Fonda recently shared on Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson’s podcast, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” that nobody during her 2019 stint behind bars in Washington, D.C., even knew who she was.

The actor had spent one night in jail after participating in a climate change protest. (Danson was also arrested alongside Fonda for being a part of the protest.)

“I ended up being put some place else with a lot of other prisoners, Black women, and it was really interesting,” Fonda told Danson on the podcast episode, which was released on Wednesday. “They could have cared less who I was. They had far more important things to think about — and none of them had seen any of my movies.”

“Oh, Jennifer Lopez, yeah — they had seen ‘Monster-in-Law,’” she continued. “I pulled that card and they were mildly impressed, but not really. They went right back and talked about what they were dealing with, which was survival issues. It was an eye-opener, I tell you.”

Fonda starred in the 2005 comedy “Monster-in-Law” as a wealthy matriarch determined to keep Lopez’s character from marrying into the family.

Elsewhere on the podcast, Fonda reflected on the arrest and noted how her reality was different from those she was in jail with, saying, “We’re white and we’re famous, and we will never really know what it’s like to be Black in this country or brown.”

Fonda and Lopez at the
Fonda and Lopez at the "Monster-in-Law" premiere in Los Angeles in April 2005. Fonda shared how she was recognized from the movie during her 2019 jail stint in Washington, D.C. L. Cohen/WireImage/Getty Images

She also discussed how her fame allowed her to have certain benefits while arrested, including a guard “stationed outside” her cell while she heard “nothing but screams” coming from “down the hall” from far less privileged inmates, who she assumed were suffering “psychotic breaks.”

“Guys are screaming and screaming and banging the doors, and you realize, ‘They should be in another kind of place,’ like a mental health place,” Fonda said. “They shouldn’t be in jail. I was the only white person there.”

Fonda was arrested five times at the climate change protest in Washington.

Despite this, the 86-year-old said on the podcast that being arrested for protesting “still matters” and that there’s “something very liberating about engaging in civil disobedience” to fight for “your deepest values.”