When Jane Fonda connects with a subject, she does so perfectly. Something similar happens when he decides to talk about a complicated matter: he does it openly, with details and in a way that is as simple as it is forceful. In a recent interview, the protagonist of Barbarella revealed the uncomfortable moment that a famous French filmmaker put her through in the mid-sixties.
According to the actress on the television interview program Watch What Happens Live, French director René Clément asked to sleep with her in the middle of filming The Cage of Love, in which Fonda starred alongside Alain Delon and Lola Albright. In 1964. The episode came to light when driver Andy Cohen asked her the name of a Hollywood man who wanted to have sex with her and the actress refused.
Without hesitation, Fonda replied: “French director René Clément.” And then he recalled: “Well, he wanted to sleep with me on the pretext that my character was supposed to climax in the film. He told me that’s why he needed to see what my orgasms were like.”
The actress also revealed how she disapproved of the person holding power in that film. “Since he told me in French, I pretended that I did not understand him.” However, he wanted to clarify that despite reporting this particular incident, this was not the only situation of harassment that the victim had encountered. “I have a lot of stories for you, but we probably don’t have much time,” he told Cohen.
Clement was 51 when The Cage of Love was filmed and Fonda was 27. In the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-backed production, the Barefoot in the Park actress played a woman who falls in love with a trickster while on the run from American gangsters. For more than a decade, the director, who died in 1996 at the age of 82, was one of the most important and prolific filmmakers in France and was honored at the Cannes Film Festival five times throughout his career.
In fact, Fonda’s revelation comes at a time when the French festival is facing strong scrutiny. Two weeks ago, actress Adele Haenel expressed in a public letter that Cannes is responsible for perpetuating the abusive sexual behavior of powerful men in French cinema. The protagonist of Portrait of a Woman on Fire says, “I have decided to politicize my withdrawal from the film industry in order to denounce its general favoritism towards sex offenders.”
In his letter, Haenel lamented that “big players” in the French film industry expect “police forces” to act as usual for potential screenings during the Cannes Film Festival. And he added: “In the meantime, everyone is coming together to save the images. [Gerard] Depardieu, [Roman] Polanski Y [Dominique] Boutnut. It bothers and disturbs them that the victims make too much noise.”
“They are willing to do anything to defend their rapist masters, who are so rich that they believe they are a superior species, who flaunt this superiority, targeting women and subordinates,” He says in his writings. The actress believes that the only way out for the victims is to use the culture of cancellation. “You have money, power and strength, you rejoice in it, but you will not have me as a spectator. I cancel you from my world. I stand down, I go on strike, I I join those fellows whose pursuit of meaning and dignity transcends money and power.
Already in 2020, the actress blasted against Roman Polanski, who was awarded the César Award. She was present at the scene, and “Long live pedophilia!” Don’t hesitate to shout! When the director was mentioned. After this he left the premises. Earlier, the actress had slammed filmmaker Christophe Ruggia, whom she accused of sexually assaulting her when she was 12 to 15 years old.
Thierry Frémaux, director of the Lumière Institute, Lumière Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival, denied the actress’s claim in his open letter. “She didn’t think of that when she came to Cannes until she encountered some crazy inconsistency,” he said sarcastically. He continued, “If you think this is a festival for rapists, you are not here listening to me, you are not complaining that you cannot get tickets to the screening.”