Metro Weekly

Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen on Their Roman Holiday

The 'Book Club' trio of Fonda, Bergen, and Steenburgen dish on dashing off to Italy to film with friends.

Mary Steenburgen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Candice Bergen in Book Club: The Next Chapter – Photo: Focus Features

Their fabulous foursome was down a member for the day, but that didn’t seem to dampen the fun for Book Club: The Next Chapter stars Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen, who chatted with Metro Weekly about the new sequel to their 2018 hit comedy, written and directed by Bill Holderman.

The screen legends were missing their girl Diane Keaton, who rounds out the quartet portraying four longtime best friends, who, this time out, jet off to Italy for a bachelorette adventure. Yet they still basked in the glow of their collective thrilling adventure shooting the film throughout Rome, Venice, and Tuscany.

The gorgeous Italian scenery, and local color — like homegrown legend Giancarlo Giannini, featured in a supporting role — proved enchanting offscreen as well as in the film.

“It was never stressful because you were always in a gondola, sort of coasting along,” recalls Bergen. “It was such a privilege. We stayed in a beautiful hotel with a gorgeous, towering lobby. Then at night, we’d come home and we’d all sit in the bar and there would be a long table with, like 20 places, all with Aperol Spritzes on the table, like hundreds of glasses of Aperol Spritzes. There was never a moment of stress on the movie.”

“Well,” interjects Fonda, “the 104-degree heat was a little stressful.”

“She was wearing wool,” Bergen adds.

“But we managed,” says Fonda. “We had a good time making the movie, and a good time in real life when we were not shooting the movie.”

In fact, the co-stars have forged a close friendship, which, as Steenburgen points out, was a major reason they all returned for the sequel, along with their returning cast of silver foxes Don Johnson, Andy Garcia, and Craig T. Nelson.

Shooting the first film “was glorious, because they’re glorious,” says Steenburgen, gesturing to the women beside her. “And it was glorious because we so appreciated Bill Holderman, who directed the film and caused these friendships to even occur. I had met all of them, including Diane. But no combination of us had ever worked together before, which is crazy when you look at how many films we’ve done collectively.”

So, the first film not only grossed over $100 million worldwide, but it was the beginning of some beautiful friendships. “I fell in love with my co-stars on the first film,” Steenburgen beams, “and so to work with them again was just like a gift. It was like, if you survive the business long enough, you get given a really great gift.”

It’s a gift that none might take for granted. Like the friends in the films, the four leads make a point of keeping in touch.

Says Fonda, “I realized, independent of this movie, when you get older and everybody’s busy and we have our own lives and grandchildren and all this, if you want to make a friend when you’re our age, you have to be really intentional about it. You have to decide, ‘I am going to stay in touch with that person.’ And we do. We see each other in between our movies.

“And I know, for me,” she continues, “I want to have friends that are younger than me. So when I’m about to go, they’re there and I can have some love next to me when I go out.”

“You have so much love, Jane!” Bergen pipes in.

“I want you to be there,” Fonda responds.

“I’ll be there,” says Bergen.

“I’ll go before you do,” Fonda jokes.

“I don’t know about that.”

“You’ve already invited me, years ago,” says Steenburgen, and all three pals share a laugh.

Book Club: The Next Chapter is playing in theaters nationwide. Visit

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