Jennifer Lopez may owe Jane Fonda a monster of an apology.
During a recent appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show alongside her Moving On and Grace and Frankie costar Lily Tomlin, Fonda was asked to share behind-the-scenes details from her most famous films. However, when the 2005 romantic comedy Monster-in-Law came up, so did an 18-year-old grudge.
As the title of the movie implies, Jennifer Lopez plays a woman with a future mother-in-law from hell. Fonda’s character Viola was willing to do whatever it takes to break up her son and Lopez’s character Charlie—including showing up to their wedding in a white gown. In the pivotal scene, Charlie tries to backtrack after striking the older woman, but Viola slaps her right back, delivering the iconic line: “You don’t go and slap somebody and then apologize, get some backbone.”
Now, Fonda says those slaps were even harsher than they looked. “The thing that comes to mind right away is we have a slapping scene. I slap her, she slaps me,” Fonda told Barrymore. “Well, Jennifer—as per Jennifer—she had this enormous diamond ring. And so, when she slapped me one of the times, it cut open across my eye, my eyebrow.”
After a bit of a pause, Fonda added, “She’s never apologized.”
Based on her delivery, it’s unclear if the 85-year-old actor was being sincere or just looking for a laugh, but this story does contradict Lopez’s own recollection of events. In a YouTube video posted to her channel in 2019, Lopez said she was “mortified” by the incident and definitely apologized.
“She really really went for it and so did I—and then I punched her in the eye by mistake,” Lopez said while watching the clip. “Ouch!”
“We talked about how we were going to do this over and over again. I was so afraid to hit Jane Fonda in the face or hurt her in any way,” Lopez continued. “I was so afraid of her and she was so brazen and like, ‘Just hit me! Don’t worry about it, it’s gonna be fine!”
Lopez remembered the scene taking on a life of its own. “I just remember afterward Jane had a blood blister right at the top of her eye. My nail, like, went up into her eye,” Lopez said. “I was mortified. I was [like], ‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ and she was like, ‘It’s fine, it’s fine!’”
Lopez added, “She didn’t care. She’s such a gangster bitch. I just love her.”
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