Lily Tomlin on her 'blood pact' friendship with Jane Fonda and hope for '9 to 5' sequel

A month after co-starring in "80 for Brady," the "Grace and Frankie" co-stars and longtime friends reunite (again) for new comedy "Moving On."

MOVING ON, from left: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, 2022. ph: Aaron Epstein / © Roadside Attractions / Courtesy Everett Collection
Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in Moving On. (Photo: Aaron Epstein / © Roadside Attractions / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin were not done when Grace and Frankie ended.

The screen greats are still attached at the hip a year after their Emmy-nominated Netflix series concluded following seven acclaimed seasons. Last month they made half of the principal cast on the road trip comedy 80 for Brady. And this week they open Moving On, a dramedy about estranged friends who reunite and plot to kill the widower of their recently deceased college chum.

They made a “blood pact,” cracks Tomlin in a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment.

“We saw one of those terrible adventure things on TV that are just apocalyptic and the people just smash their hands together,” Tomlin, 83, adds. “Of course, we didn't make any cuts [in our hands] because we didn't wanna scar. So we just wound up applauding ourselves. That's how we made our pact.” (Fonda became unavailable for our interview the morning of.)

Of course, Tomlin and Fonda, 85, go much further back than Grace and Frankie. They first costarred in the beloved 1980 office space comedy 9 to 5 — which like Moving On, involves women getting revenge on a man who’s wronged them, and also teamed them with Dolly Parton.

“Now it's like we're two old shoes, but here's what happened,” Tomlin starts. “Jane was so innocent, so young, she still is, that's just in her fabric. And she would say, ‘Come on Lily, you gotta take a leap of faith.’ She was trying to get me to do the movie. And I was always kind of shy of doing comedy cause I'd say, ‘Well, they'll look at me, they'll think I'm gonna be the funny one. And it's so hard to be funny.’

“So I was kind of equivocating. And she'd say, ‘You've gotta take a leap of faith.’ She would just emphasize that. So she's always been the ‘Take a leap of faith’ girl to me. I just loved her innocence and her need to make everybody OK with it, and do the right thing. And thank God I did do the movie. It was a blessing.”

In 2018, Parton announced plans to make a 9 to 5 sequel with the original cast and to be co-written by Rashida Jones and Pat Resnick. The follow-up was effectively canceled in 2019, however, with Fonda saying recently they were unsatisfied with the script.

Tomlin is still hopeful it happens.

“I haven't given up on it,” she says, noting she’s on the lookout for a new writer. “I'm still hoping that we'll get a script together that all three of us will wanna do 'cause it would be wonderful… Maybe that would be our last movie hurrah.”

Moving On opens Friday, March 17 in the theaters.

Watch the trailer: