Jane Fonda considers her activism to be as important as her career.

The 80-year-old actress has opened up about her life in a new HBO documentary called 'Jane Fonda in Five Acts', but she has admitted to being initially uncertain about how she wanted to present her story.

Asked why she's chosen to make a documentary now, Jane explained: ''Because [director] Susan Lacy asked me to! She's a great documentary filmmaker whom I both knew and respected.

''For a number of years many people have asked to do a documentary about me, but I wanted to work with her and with HBO.''

Jane and Susan spoke about the project, and they agreed to touch on a range of issues throughout the documentary.

Jane identifies as a feminist and has also been active in anti-war movements.

The actress - who has kids Mary, 50, Vanessa, 49, and Troy, 44 - told the BBC: ''I said to her at the beginning that my life is not just about being a movie actor and a celebrity - activism is equally important to me.

''One of the things that's unusual is she didn't interview many other people. She interviewed some of my children and my best friend, but I do most of the talking.''

Jane also explained how the documentary's five-act structure came about.

She said: ''Susan decided how to structure it after doing the interviews and understanding from me what my life has been about. For a long time I was defined by men - my father [Henry Fonda] and my three husbands [Roger Vadim, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner].

''It was not until I was in my sixties that it was me that defined my life. That's what guided her and the structure of the film.''