Watch: Jane Fonda, Tiffany Haddish, Maya Rudolph And More Open Up About Nudity, Sexuality And Race

The Queens of Comedy recently joined forces for The Hollywood Reporter‘s roundtable discussion.

Alex Borstein, Jane Fonda, Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall, Natasha Lyonne, Maya Rudolph and Phoebe Waller-Bridge discussed their experiences in the world of comedy television. Nudity and sexuality were key topics touched on by the actresses present at THR‘s latest roundtable.

Haddish is totally comfortable doing nude scenes. “I mean, I’m just borrowing this flesh suit. I am going to give this back to the Lord anyway,” she shared. “Might as well share it, if I can feed my family and whatnot.”

Borstein, however, had a different take: “I feel like every day you show up and you’re giving so much of yourself to everybody, and the one thing that I have is this little mushy little pasty white form and it’s mine.”

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Jane Fonda. Photo: Alexandra Gavillet/THR
Jane Fonda. Photo: Alexandra Gavillet/THR

“I am a filthy slut with the right person — I’ll be walking around with whipped cream on my nipples or whatever — but in terms of outside and anyone else,” Borstein continued. “I feel like you’ve got to have something that feels like yours and safe and special.”

Fonda, one of the stars of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie”, is at the forefront of painting the sexuality of older women in a positive light. “[Our] culture doesn’t like people with wrinkles to be talking about sex,” she expressed. “And kids don’t like to think about their parents doing it, either. But the fastest growing demographic in the world is older women.

“A lot of them are doing it very pleasurably. I wrote a book about it and I gave it to the writers,” Fonda added. “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, ‘I now see another way forward.'”

Nudity and sex were far from the only topics discussed. “Saturday Night Live” star Maya Rudolph opened up about her experiences with race in comedy. There’s an element of reality,” she shared. “If we were doing a political sketch, there are so many people that can play Michelle Obama and there are so many people that can’t.”

“So I really was relegated to racial roles as opposed to what I was normally doing on the show because I’m a rainbow in here,” Rudolph said, pointing to her head. “Every once in a while, I’d get reminded, ‘Well, you can’t play Hillary Clinton.’ But it wasn’t just that. I just want to be a wife sometimes and not have [race] be the story. But that’s not just ‘SNL’, that’s the world…”

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Tiffany Haddish. Photo: Alexandra Gavillet/THR
Tiffany Haddish. Photo: Alexandra Gavillet/THR

One story that stuck with her involved an encounter between her partner Paul Thomas Anderson and comedian Chris Rock: “Paul was writing ‘There Will Be Blood’, Chris Rock asked him, ‘What are you writing?’ He said, ‘It’s a period piece.’ And Chris was like, ‘I don’t want to hear anybody, like you or Scorsese, say ‘a period piece’ because I don’t want to play anybody pre-Jackson 5.'”

“Because [if you’re black] it means that you’re going to be playing a slave,” Rudolph noted. “It’s always been my dream to be in a period piece with the hair and the costumes, but we are so limited, and that’s the reality.”

The actresses also touched on politics and how their mothers influenced them over the course of the hour-and-a-half chat.

Regina Hall, Natasha Lyonne, Maya Rudolph, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jane Fonda, Tiffany Haddish and Alex Borstein. Photo by Emily Berl
Regina Hall, Natasha Lyonne, Maya Rudolph, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jane Fonda, Tiffany Haddish and Alex Borstein. Photo by Emily Berl

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