At 85, Jane Fonda is the “happiest [she’s] ever been.”

Despite life’s hardships, including last year’s health scare in which the actress underwent chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (she’s now in remission), Fonda has never let obstacles stop her from moving forward.

“There’s been tragedy and hard things in my life. But I’ve never succumbed to them,” she says in her cover story of People magazine. “I’ve been resilient all my life.”

The “Grace and Frankie” alum shares that there’s many perks of getting older that make life “better,” but one that stands out is coming to realize what truly matters in life.

READ MORE: Jane Fonda Opens Up About Her Decades-Long Struggle With Bulimia: ‘I Assumed I Wouldn’t Live Past 30’

“A bad thing happens, and you think, ‘Well, that’s happened before, and I’m fine. I’ll get over it.’ You know what’s important,” she explains. “I spent a lot of time like a canoe with no paddle being carried in the current. As I got older, I learned I’m going to put an oar in the water and steer.”

That’s exactly how Fonda became known as a “force,” as Bill Holderman, the director of her upcoming movie “Book Club: The Next Chapter”, describes her.

Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda — Photo: Courtesy of People

The filmmaker recalls one morning in Italy, where the film shot, when the actress was up and about at 6:00 a.m. on their day off getting “11,000 steps” in exploring the city while the rest of the cast and crew were asleep.

He adds that Fonda’s “a sponge for information,” pointing out that “by the end of filming, Jane probably knew more about the gelato shops in Rome than the Romans.”

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The film, which hits theatres on May 12, is the sequel to the 2019 rom-com “Book Club” in which Fonda returns as a member of the club alongside her real-life friends Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen.

Speaking of their bond, Fonda says “it’s everything I imagined women’s friendships can be.”

“When I was younger, there was this assumption that women were kind of catty and four stars working together wouldn’t work because they’d be competing, and it’s just not true,” she explains. “We’re friends and we love working together and we help each other when we need to.”

READ MORE: Jane Fonda Says She Didn’t Have Any Women Friends Until Her 30s: ‘I Saw Women As Weak’

In addition to “Book Club 2”, the Oscar-winning actress has three films coming out this year.

“I’m so blessed to be healthy enough to keep working and lucky enough to keep being offered nice parts,” she says.

Aside from working, Fonda enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren, going on hikes and watching her “go-to” show- “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.

“It just eases me out,” she says.

Fonda’s cover of People hits news stands on May 5.