Jane Fonda revealed she had a hard time during filming of the first season of Grace and Frankie.
The actress, who has played Grace Hanson on the beloved Netflix comedy series since Season 1, revealed in a group interview that she suffered a "nervous breakdown" during filming, brought upon by her character's storyline.
"It took me a long time to figure out [my relationship to this character]," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "I had a nervous breakdown during the first season, and I discovered it's because the very first episode our husbands tell us that they are going to leave us after 40 years and marry each other and that triggered abandonment."
Fonda was joined in the interview by other TV comedy stars Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G.), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Alex Borstein (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Regina Hall (Black Sunday), Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) and Maya Rudolph (Forever). The actress has starred on the Netflix series since 2015 alongside Lily Tomlin and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2017.
Despite the show's popularity, the beginning of the show was difficult for the actress, who became affected by how much she related to her character's journey.
"It was a big trigger, and I didn't realize that a character in a comedy could actually trigger something very profound," she said. "And so I love her, and I learned to invite her into the room."
Fonda then reflected about learning to appreciate the differences between her and Grace and it helped craft her story on the show.
"After the first season, I couldn't have written a backstory for her; and then I wrote 30 pages without ever stopping," she added. "But I don't really want to have to be anything like her. We have too much in common as it is."
Also during the chat, Fonda opened up about how Grace and Frankie has brought older female sexuality discussions to the forefront, after many years of the topic being seen as "a joke."
"When I was in my 40s, I said, 'Before I die I want to be part of giving a cultural face to older women,' and I can't tell you how much feedback Lily [Tomlin] and I get from older women who say it's given them hope — and not-so-old women who say, 'Now see another way forward,'" she added.
Grace and Frankie is currently streaming on Netflix. It has already been renewed for Season 6, expected to premiere in 2020.