My one question interview with Jane Fonda.

By Steve Moran

I couldn’t figure out whether to use the title I used or this one: “My one question interview with Jane Fonda.” I recently attended the Quality of Life Conference in London that was hosted by Sodexo (a Senior Housing Forum partner). Most of the speakers were from places other than North America and almost all were excellent. They included:

  • Nancy Judy from Sodexo, who moderated the panel

  • Eric Brun-Sanglard – The blind designer from France

  • Helene Perrault – A researcher from The University of Ottawa

  • Laurence Lien – A philanthropist from Singapore

  • Scott Frisch – With AARP in North America

  • Jane Fonda – Actress, author and personality

The two most fascinating panelists were Eric and Laurence by far, though I think Jane got most of the attention. I was able to do an interview with Laurence that will appear as a separate article in the coming weeks.

Laurence runs a family foundation that tackles topics that philanthropic organizations typically won’t take on. They have done such great work with respect to death and dying and are working on some senior living projects in Singapore.

Eric is a native of France but was living in Los Angeles as an uber successful creative in fashion, perfume and cosmetics. In his mid-30s he went blind. This happened during a time he was midway through a complete remodel of a home in the Hollywood Hills. Rather than letting his blindness defeat him, he used it to create based on other senses with great success.

My One Question Interview With Jane Fonda

I confess that my one request to the Sodexo folks before heading to the conference was for an interview with Jane Fonda. I thought it would be fascinating to hear her thoughts on senior living, but I also knew it was a longshot. The answer was NO.

Finally though, during the panel discussion there was a “questions from the audience time”. My question, I had two questions, one for Jane and the other for Eric. For Jane it was this:

“Would you ever live in a retirement home and, if yes, what would it need to be like?”

Her response was not very responsive. She did say she had visited friends and family members in assisted living and knew what it was. She then went off on how in some senior living communities the residents were still very sexually active and that maybe what was most needed in senior living was sex ed.

So the bottom line was that Jane Fonda entertained but provided no helpful commentary. Except that I am betting if she were pressed her bottom line would be “I have enough money that I don’t have to live in one of those places.”

A Blind Senior Living Designer

My question to Eric was if he would ever be interested in working on designing a senior living community. I am really intrigued by the idea that someone who is blind but has a very unique ability to successfully understand and design space using his other senses could provide powerful insights on how to make senior living communities more liveable.  

He is interested and I would love to see someone have that conversation with him.