Former “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace sat down with longtime activist and actress Jane Fonda — and a conversation about the awkwardness of small talk at big parties quickly took its own turn into awkward territory.
Wallace spoke with Fonda for the latest episode of his HBOMax interview series, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” — and the conversation turned to Fonda’s personal distaste for the constant barrage of small talk that came part-and-parcel with cocktail parties.
“I hate parties. I hate cocktail parties. I always end up finding one person that is interesting and sitting in a corner all night. Do you do that?” the 85-year-old “80 For Brady” actress asked Wallace.
“I, yeah, I know what you’re saying,” Wallace agreed.
“Because I’m shy, basically. Which, you know, just small talk. I don’t. I can’t do it. Isn’t that boring?” Fonda continued, turning the question back on Wallace again and asking, “Are you married?”
“Yes. Are you interested?” Wallace shot back, prompting laughter.
Fonda quickly explained that she had only asked because she thought maybe in the future she should invite Wallace to attend parties with her, thereby ensuring that she would always have someone interesting to talk to.
“No, I just — I just thought I should invite you to parties so that the two of us can just go into a corner …” she began.
“I would love that,” Wallace replied.
“… and talk. And I don’t have to deal with the rest of it,” Fonda concluded with a smile.
The octogenarian also revealed a touching moment shared with her often-abrasive father, actor Henry Fonda, before he died in 1982 — telling Wallace that it was the only time she had ever seen her father weep.
“Before he died I was able to tell him that I loved him and that I forgave him for, you know, whatever didn’t happen. And I hope that he would forgive me for not being a better daughter. I got to say that to him,” she said. “He didn’t say anything. But he wept. I had never seen that before. I’d never seen my father break down and weep. And I — it was, it was powerful.”