LOS ANGELES – Though she was married three times, Jane Fonda (search) found no inspiration from her former mothers-in-law when it came to playing her first film role in 15 years.
The mothers of all three of Fonda's ex-husbands — filmmaker Roger Vadim (search), politician-activist Tom Hayden (search) and media mogul Ted Turner (search) — treated her just fine. So who were Fonda's role models for "Monster-in-Law," in which she plays Viola, a prospective mother-in-law from hell?
"To tell you the truth, a little bit Mae West, but also Ted Turner," Fonda told The Associated Press. "I had the privilege and pleasure of spending 10 years with him, and talk about someone who's bigger than life and over the top.
"So I got to see what that's like up close and personal, and how you can be over the top and still very lovable. And so it sort of gave me permission when Viola came along to borrow a bit from Ted. Not the monster part, because he's not a monster. But just not being afraid of being outrageous is what it was."
Jennifer Lopez stars as Fonda's prospective daughter-in-law, whom Viola feels is not good enough for her son.
Fonda's real-life daughter and son are not married, but she expects she would make a big-hearted mother-in-law herself.
"I'm rather a saintly person," Fonda said with a hearty laugh.
So she's never meddled in their love lives?
"I didn't say that," Fonda said, laughing again. "I don't know. You'd have to ask them. Hmm, meddle in their love lives. I ask a lot of questions, but I don't ever say, I don't think he's right for you or she's right for you, or I wish you'd split up. None of that. Because I'm too afraid of alienating my kids."