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Jane Fonda's warning to Jennifer Lopez about marriage to Ben Affleck before split reports

Jane’s concerns came to light when Jennifer approached her for a role in The Greatest Love Story Never Told

Jane Fonda's warning to Jennifer Lopez about marriage to Ben Affleck before split reports© Mark Sullivan
Faye James
Senior Editor
Updated: June 25, 2024
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Jane Fonda voiced her concerns about Jennifer Lopez's relationship with Ben Affleck before split reports surfaced. 

The 86-year-old actress, who shares a warm bond with Jennifer from their time filming the 2005 rom-com Monster-in-Law, had some heartfelt advice for her friend.

"I feel invested in you and Ben and I really, really want this to work," Jane told Jennifer, 54, during a phone call featured in Jennifer's film project. 

"However, my concern is that it feels too much like you're trying to prove something instead of just living it. Every other photograph is the two of you kissing, the two of you hugging."

According to the Daily Mail Jane's concerns came to light when Jennifer approached her to play a role in her music documentary, The Greatest Love Story Never Told

The 90-minute film, released in February, is part of a trilogy exploring Jennifer's breakup and reunion with Ben, 51. 

It also includes the making of the movie This is Me Now, a part fantasy, part biographical companion piece to her latest album.

Jennifer Lopez (L) and Jane Fonda worked together in Monster-in-Law© Jeff Vespa
Jennifer Lopez (L) and Jane Fonda worked together in Monster-in-Law

Jennifer was so committed to the project that she invested $20 million of her own money after studios and streaming platforms passed on it. 

Despite her reservations, Jane ultimately agreed to take on a cameo role as a member of the Zodiac council, who bears witness to Jennifer's romantic misadventures.

Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez during "Monster-In-Law" Los Angeles Premiere© L. Cohen
Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez during "Monster-In-Law" Los Angeles Premiere

Jane's initial reluctance, however, echoed a sentiment shared by Ben himself. He has often expressed discomfort with the public scrutiny and the stark contrast between his private nature and Jennifer's more public persona. 

Their different attitudes towards social media have been a point of contention, with Ben preferring a more private life.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are seen out and about on March 30, 2024 in New York, New York. (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)© MEGA
Ben Affleck opens up about the public persona of him and his wife

The couple, who eloped in Las Vegas in July 2022 and later held a lavish multi-day wedding at Ben's Georgia estate, have been at the center of divorce rumors. 

Ben has reportedly moved out of their $60 million Los Angeles home, which is now back on the market. 

Jennifer has also pulled out of her forthcoming tour, citing a desire to spend more time with "loved ones and family."

Ben met his daughter Violet for lunch© Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin
Ben recently stepped out without his wedding ring

On Father's Day, Jennifer posted a sweet tribute to Ben on Instagram, calling him "Our hero." 

However, it remains unclear whether they spent the day together. Meanwhile, Ben's ex-wife Jennifer Garner, with whom he shares three children, was seen visiting him at his Brentwood home, followed by a visit from Jennifer the day before.

Jane Fonda 'got real scared'

The couple's public displays of affection have noticeably diminished, with Ben often appearing tense and unhappy in recent photos. 

This shift has not gone unnoticed by fans and commentators alike. Even Jane admitted she was worried when footage from the Grammys in March 2023 showed Jennifer seemingly chastising Ben for looking downcast and bored.

Jane confessed, "I got real scared, you know, with all that s**t about the Grammys and he looks unhappy and I'm like, 'Oh my God, what's happening?'" 

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet © Christopher Polk/Golden Globes 2
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet

Jennifer laughed off the concern, saying, "Nothing! He was like, 'I've become the symbol of the beleaguered man.'"

Despite these challenges, Jennifer remains optimistic about their future together. "We're just two people with different approaches trying to learn to compromise," she said. 

Ben, for his part, has tried to support Jennifer in her public endeavors, even appearing in her recent documentary. However, he has made it clear that he struggles with the intense public scrutiny.

Reflecting on his wife's very different approach to publicity, Ben compared Jennifer's "addiction" to social media and work to his own struggles with alcohol. 

"Jen felt emotionally neglected as a child," he said. "We are learning more and more it doesn't have to be the kind of trauma of being locked in a basement for years to leave wounds on you."

He continued, "It's a hard thing to look at somebody whose professional life is wildly successful and who on Instagram looks like they're living the happiest life in the world. The thing you discover is like with alcohol, there isn't enough alcohol in all the liquor stores in the world to fill up that thing. 

“In Jennifer's case, I don't think there's enough followers or movies or records to still that part of you that still feels a longing and a pain. That's the work that you've got to do on your own."

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