Known for her own activism, as well as her decades-long career as an actress, Jane Fonda is the latest star to come out in support of the Hollywood writer’s strike.

Members of the Writers Guild of America walked out last week when their contracts expired, in a dispute over pay.

While speaking to Sky News about her latest film Book Club: The Next Chapter, Fonda said she and her fellow cast members Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen are “very supportive” of the action.

“We understand why they’re striking – the business is very different than it used to be, it’s hard to earn a good living in this business nowadays,” Fonda said.

“We’re not talking about the top, top stars, but, you know, the average worker and with the streaming services and no more residuals, it gets very complicated.”

“So, yes, we support the writers and we’re very concerned, though, about the below-the-line crew people who may not work for a while at a time when rents are going up and inflation is going up, and so we’re worried about that, but we we’re all for the writers.”

The writers on Fonda’s new film – Bill Holderman and Erin Simms – also wrote the first movie, The Book Club, which became a box office hit when it was release in 2018.

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About four women with a strong friendship after being in a book club together for forty years, the film was a rare beast in having not just one but four older women as the lead characters.

Image:
Mary Steenburgen (L) Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Diane Keaton all star in the new film

It took £82m at the worldwide box office on a budget of £11m.

Fonda says the reception it got was very gratifying.

“It was amazing, it was wonderful, that’s why we wanted to do a second one.”

The Next Chapter sees the four women flying to Italy, but with many of the same cast and crew involved, Bergen says the combination of old and new worked really well.

“It’s very familial, you’re all clubby.” She told Sky News.

“And the Italians are great and our crew was wonderful and we were shooting it at a legendary studio, Cinecitta, where Fellini had made his movies.”

“It’s very rich to be working in Italy.”

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The women’s friendship is at the heart of The Book Club films, and Steenburgen admits that when it comes to their relationships with one another not a huge amount of acting is required.

“I don’t think there’s much difference between when the cameras are rolling,” she laughed.

“And I’m sure we drove them crazy sometimes talking when we were supposed to actually be acting.”

“But it all was kind of seamless, to tell you the truth.”

The central message of The Next Chapter is that you’re never too old to try new things or to make changes in your life.

Steenburgen says it’s something we should all subscribe to.

“It would be sad if there’s a cap on the magic of your life or on your dreaming or on your sense of wonder,” she said.

“You know – that should never leave you as long as you’re privileged to be here.”

Book Club: The Next Chapter is out in cinemas in the UK today.