SECTION ONE
PAGE FIFTEEN

sm
COLUMN SIXTY-THREE, SEPTEMBER 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

XV.

Jane began seeing a psychiatrist soon after she began acting.  She let her father read about it in a newspaper article.

"When he found out, he told me that I need it like a hole in the head," she said. "And actually, he made up all kinds of reasons why it would be bad for me to go into analysis. I kept saying, 'Listen, I'm selfish enough as it is. All T need to do is spend fifteen minutes a day talking about myself and I'm finished." Meantime, I kept reading books, I kept asking people about it and there was a guy I knew that kept talking to me about it and telling me that he thought I should be in analysis.

"And then I did Tall Story, which was really a pretty disturbing experience for me, and I started reading about Freud and identifying with everything in the book. And it was the first time that I realized how much pain I could cause another human being and that kind of frightened me because I've always felt that I was very innocent.

"I mean I didn't that I was a mean person and when I realized that I could be mean and malicious, that really kind of frightened me.  So as soon as I got back to New York, I asked Susan if she knew of one.  And she said the only one she knew of is a child psychiatrist.  So I went to a child psychiatrist to ask him to tell me who to go to and he sent me to a doctor who's the doctor I've been with."

Norman Mailer believes that analysis turns woman into a cancer. Billy Wilder thinks that when an actress lies down on an analyst's couch, she comes out a clenched, dreary thing.  Her father says she needs analysis like a hole in the head. But Jane Fonda is convinced that analysis has helped her become a woman, an actress and a daughter.

"There are some people," she told me, "certain actors, certain talents who, without any technique, without any training, without any thought, have an instrument that is totally free of bonds, free of inhibition, free of problems, and they're very fortunate and they're very rare.  Most people have blocks, it's particularly subtle in an actor.

"Because, like a violinist---and all you have to do is get a good violin and tune it up properly and have the proper catgut and all of that kind of thing and then you can play.  An actor's violin is his body, inside and outside, and when every time you play it's flat, you say, 'Well, better know why is it flat?  And what do I do to tune it up again?'

"Now some people can do it just by time, by experience. I, left alone to my own resources, would be unable to tune it up.  My background is such---I was brought up in such a


A good actress has to go onstage
and hang out her laundry,
clean or dirty


restricted kind of a way, you know, one doesn't raise one's voice, one never shows what one feels, one is always polite.  If someone says something to me that I don't like, I will never show it.

"You want everyone to like you. God forbid someone should not like.  Me. Now, any good person is hated by some people and loved by others, or there's something wrong.  I'm not saying that my father taught me, I'm just saying that this came along with my whole, my being.  Now, this makes a great deal of difference.  It's a great impediment to acting because to be a good actress you have to go on stage and, to use a clich?, hang out your dirty laundry, or clean laundry, or whatever it is.  But it's got to be yours from the bottom up and I am always censoring myself, putting up defenses, showing only what people are going to like.

"And it's not the things that people like that makes someone move. It's the things that they don't like and things that they recognize in themselves and, if they're really truthful, then they become moving and it's the really truthful thing that's very, very difficult for me or for anybody to show. And I feel that the more awareness that you have of instrument, the thing that you have to play upon, the more able you're going to be. Now, I agree that if it becomes a thing solely up here in the head, then you're in trouble because then everything becomes mechanical and thought out and intellectualized and that's wrong. 

"And I've gone through a period of that.  I still have some of that.  I think it's something that I will get over, but for me it's an essential thing for me to go through.  For example, the things that people criticize about my performances, they say that it's all too worked out, every moment is planned.  And it's true and it's very important for me. Because before then it was all very naturalistic.  It was simple.  It didn't cut into anything, it wasn't incisive."

She had been preparing a salad in the kitchen and we were now sitting in her living room drinking wine.  A Christmas tree was in the corner.  On a shelf, almost crushed among books, was a phrenologist's head, a birthday gift from Voutsinas.  Photographs posters, drawings, paintings and prints, all of them expensively framed, covered the walls, some of them at knee level.  On an end table, there was a photograph of her mother and father, smiling, with herself and her brother as little children.

"In other words," she said, "I've discovered, partly by analysis, that the problems of the actor are exactly the problems of the actor as a human being.  And the better human being I can be, the more fulfilled woman I am, the better actress I can be.  ##

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE ONE OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE TWO OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE THREE OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE FOUR OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE FIVE OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE SIX OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE SEVEN OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE EIGHT OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE NINE OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE TEN OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE ELEVEN OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE TWELVE OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE THIRTEEN OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE FOURTEEN OF SECTION ONE---AMERICA'S ANSWER TO BARDOT: THE YOUNG JANE FONDA

CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMN SIXTY-THREE


CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMNS

The Blacklisted Journalist can be contacted at P.O.Box 964, Elizabeth, NJ 07208-0964
The Blacklisted Journalist's E-Mail Address:
info@blacklistedjournalist.com
 
 

THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST IS A SERVICE MARK OF AL ARONOWITZ