At 82 years old, Fonda is still making headlines — and waves — for her extensive activism. Her climate change protest campaign, known as Fire Drill Friday, has landed her in handcuffs several times in recent years. She details her experiences in her new book, What Can I Do? The Truth About Climate Change And How To Fix It, a how-to guide and memoir. While she’s always been known for her activism, it was just last year that she was spurred to stand up and do something regarding climate change, an action Fonda says she took “for her own sanity. ”
“Last year, I was going insane, I was so depressed, knowing things were falling apart and I wasn’t doing enough, ” she said. “Once I decided what to do, all that dropped away. ”
But long before Fire Drill Friday, Fonda was protesting the war in Vietnam, earning her the moniker “Hanoi Jane. ” There is one moment, however, that she looks back on with disgust from those days: posing for pictures, in 1972, while sitting behind a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun as if she were about to shoot down U. S. planes.
“I want to throw up. I understand why that girl … why that happened, ” she said. “But it just sickens me, the whole thing. But do I regret going? No, never. It was the most life-altering experience I could ever, ever have. ”
Despite the threat of arrests and criticism from many, including President Donald Trump, Fonda says it’s not those obvious situations that scare her. Instead, it’s the ones that are truly emotionally intimate.
“I don’t know why this is true, but I am very rarely afraid. I’ve been in all kinds of situations: I’ve been shot at, I’ve had bombs dropped on me; but I tend not to be afraid. Maybe emotional intimacy scares me. That’s where my fear lives, ” she said.
But despite the years of emotional instability, Fonda has a more positive attitude these days. She credits that to her ability to always laugh at herself.
“Well, there’s a lot to laugh at! ” said Fonda. “If I didn’t laugh at myself I’d be crying. ”
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