"I don't think about the Fonda legacy much," says Troy Garity, Jane Fonda's son, who gets his biggest acting break yet opposite Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton in Bandits. "That could be due to unneeded pressure, or [that] it doesn't really mean that much to me. I grew up around acting, but it was never thought of as a career," said the strapping six-foot-two actor, whose father is the '60s radical-turned-California-politico, Tom Hayden
At 28, the third-generation member — along with cousin Bridget Fonda — of one of America's acting dynasties is finally getting some notice, after small roles in Steal This Movie (in which he played his father), and Conspiracy Theory. Garity, who uses his maternal grandmother's maiden name, lives in New York and does stage work occasionally. His career, he confided, gives him "a strange feeling. I try to be somewhat wary of fame, but I'm not wary of success." His parents weren't exactly urging him to go into movies, he says. "They gave me red flags and warnings, and told me it was very difficult and can plague you with paranoias you normally shouldn't have to deal with," he recalled. "But the life of a performer at the same time can be very rewarding. It gives you a green light to study and enter into different walks of life." His Favorite Films of His Mother's A serious student of his mother's impressive film catalogue, Garity picked three among his favorites and, interestingly, Klute and Coming Home, the two she won Oscars for, are not included.
"The China Syndrome right now is my favorite," he said. "It's interesting to see family members on film because you know them so well and it's hard to accept them as [a] character. It's more of an acting lesson: You can see the way she's changed her body or voice, and I find that valuable. In China Syndrome, I don't know if it's because she was so passionate about the film's subject [nuclear safety], but she loses the technique, and I see her as the woman. That and The Dollmaker and Julia are my favorites. But there are so many."
Recreating a 'Pivotal Moment' in His Father's LifeAs for playing his dad ever so briefly in the little-seen Steal This Movie, he said, "Obviously it was special, but fortunately didn't require a deep analysis. It is a brief part, but it's every actor's wish to be in a film they consider important. "If I have one special memory, it was when we recreated the trial of the Chicago Seven — and I'd known about it before — but this was a pivotal moment in my life. If my father had been found guilty of conspiracy, I wouldn't be here. [He would have been behind bars and never would have met Fonda.] That was pretty interesting, that moment."