‘Prickly’ Katharine Hepburn Told Jane Fonda She Didn’t Like Her The First Time They Met

Hollywood starlets Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda met while filming the film, “On Golden Pond.” The initial meeting did not go too well for the co-stars, and one of them revealed why.

When veteran actress Katharine Hepburn met Hollywood’s leading man Henry Fonda on set in the 90s, the pair had never crossed paths before.

“On Golden Pond” was dubbed the second-highest film of 1981. The movie focuses on family, love, and aging.

Film expert Pierrie Montiel said the film portrayed a “universal subject.” Hepburn played Henry’s wife in the 1981 film “On Golden Pond” and gifted him a “lucky” hat that once belonged to Spencer Tracy. The actor wore the said gift throughout the movie.

Director Mark Rydell recalled: “They fell into each other’s arms.” Although Hepburn and Henry got along like a house on fire, the same can not be said about his daughter, Jane Fonda, who played the onscreen couple’s child.

Per Closer Weekly, Jane once revealed that Hepburn was not too fond of her upon meeting, and she made it known to her:

“She didn’t like me very much.”

Jane Reveals the First Words Hepburn Said to Her
Jane’s vast experience and her status in show business did nothing to appeal to Hepburn when they first worked together. She recalled the first words the Academy Award winner said to her when they met during her appearance on “Mondays with Marlo,” and it was not uplifting:

“I don’t like you.”

Jane explained that Hepburn did not like that she was a married woman and had kids, all the while being an actor. She said “The African Queen” star did not believe actors should be attached except for her.

During an interview on “SiriusXM,” Jane revealed that Hepburn had taken issue with her style too. She told her, “You could never have made it back then” because of how she dressed. “She was a prickly one,” said Jane.

The two-time Academy Award winner shared she was “not glamorous enough” for Hepburn, and it bothered her that she did not make an effort to look presentable.

Despite the unsettling remarks, Jane said that Hepburn taught her that being “self-conscious isn’t necessarily bad” and that it was important for one to be aware of how they present themselves.

Despite the two women’s tense relationship, Jane still admired Hepburn and respected her greatly. That said, the former fashion model revealed the hostility between them remained.

In a candid interview with Harper’s Bazaar in March 2021, Jane stated that Hepburn was “an interesting woman” when asked about their work relationship:

“What an interesting woman. I mean, we were not friends. She was really competitive.”

The New York native explained that the BAFTA Award winner believed that she was out to win more Academy Awards than she had, especially when she won for the film they co-starred together.

Hepburn walked away with the Best Leading Actress award at the event, and Jane revealed she contacted her to wish her well:

“When she won ‘On Golden Pond,’ I called to congratulate her, and she said, ‘You’ll never catch me now.’”

Per Express, Jane was 44, and Hepburn was 74 years old at the time. Jane has scooped only two Academy Awards throughout her acting career, while Hepburn has won four Oscars overall.

Regardless of the heavy criticism from Hepburn, the activist won an Oscar Award for her role as Chelsea Thayer in “On Golden Pond.”

Jane shared what a joy it was to accomplish that, especially alongside her beloved father, adding she was also able to “buy the rights” to the movie:

“Imagine a woman with a difficult relationship with her father finds a play in which the father and daughter so paralleled real life. And I was able to buy the rights!”

Asked what her most memorable moment during her five-decade-long career was, Jane said being a producer “On Golden Pond” and giving away her Oscar Award to her dad months before he passed away was one of her career highlights.

The “Grace and Frankie” alum shared it took her twelve years to obtain the script rights for the “only television movie I did, and for which I won an Emmy, ‘The Dollmaker.’” Jane expressed gratitude for just having an acting career that became a success.

Despite her interaction with Hepburn on the phone, Jane said what she “loved” about her was that “she took the job of being an elder very seriously.” Jane admitted that she learned a lot from Hepburn, who had “a greatness about her.”

She spoke highly of her teachings, revealing Hepburn was “intentional” about educating her and “talking” to her on top of providing her with “line readings,” which she found “wonderful.”

Jane recalled again how Hepburn could not stand her, adding that she once told writer Dominick Dunne that she did not “have a soul.”

Jane has also spoken candidly about her romantic relationships after three failed marriages. The two-time BAFTA Award winner first wed in 1965 to French screenwriter Roger Vadim, but the couple divorced eight years later in 1973.

The mother of three walked down the aisle for the second time when she tied the knot with American politician Tom Hayden in 1973. However, the pair parted ways after nearly twenty years together in 1990.

Jane gave married another chance when she exchanged wedding vows for the third time with media proprietor Ted Turner in 1991. The former couple’s marriage lasted for a decade before they called it quits in 2001.