Jodie Foster at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival (Associated Press)
Jodie Foster hasn’t acted in a film since the 2013 sci-fi epic Elysium. She’s spent much of her time since developing and directing the new hostage thriller Money Monster, which marks her fourth stint behind the camera.
The Oscar-winning actress, who signed on to helm Money Monster back in 2012, assured Yahoo Movies that she is not through with the vocation she has had since early childhood. “I don’t think I’ll ever be done with acting,” Foster told us last week. “I feel like I’ve done it my whole life, I can’t imagine I’ll stop now. But I know directing is my priority now, and I had to make that happen because for so long the acting had to be a priority and I was never able to direct.”
Foster made her directorial debut with the 1991 drama Little Man Tate, then returned to filmmaking with 1995’s Home for the Holidays and 2011’s The Beaver. She said she would have liked to direct more projects over that timespan, but she needed to devote herself to raising her two sons, Charlie and Kit, born in 1998 and 2001, respectively. “So there was a long period of time and stretch between Home for the Holidays and The Beaver where I didn’t direct at all. But now I’m ready, and prioritizing that.”
The 53-year-old Los Angeles native began acting in commercials at the age of 3 and made her screen debut on the television show Mayberry, R.F.D. She rose to fame with a quartet of teenage film roles in 1976: Freaky Friday, Bugsy Malone, The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane, and Taxi Driver, which earned her an Academy Award nomination. She would eventually win Oscars for The Accused (1988) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Foster in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ (Orion)
Foster first raised concerns that she was retiring from acting while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Golden Globes. “I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage, for that matter,” she said at the time. But she later clarified: “I could never stop acting. You’d have to drag me behind a team of horses.”
A quick perusal of Foster’s IMDb credits reveal her to be very selective, often going years between acting projects. Aside from Elysium, she has only acted in five movies over the last decade (Inside Man, The Brave One, Nim’s Island, The Beaver, and Carnage).
Foster with George Clooney on the set of ‘Money Monster’ (Sony)
Foster told Yahoo Movies that she’s always looking at potential screen gigs, but needs to take some time off after the four-year grind of Money Monster, which stars George Clooney as a hotshot TV financial guru and Julia Roberts as his calm-and-collected producer who face the ire of a gunman (Jack O'Connell), who has snuck into the studio after a bad stock tip. “But I don’t want to work for a while,” she said. “I’m exhausted. I literally just finished the movie three weeks ago, and yeah, I’m tired.”
Asked what type of role she hasn’t done yet that she would like to take on, Foster said she’s looking for a challenge — a very time-consuming challenge. “I’d really like to do something where I had to learn something hard. Like, learn to be a violinist. Or to be an Olympic athlete. Or speak Polish,” said Foster, who spoke French in the 2003 romantic war drama A Very Long Engagement. “I’d like to commit six months to really living in the world of something obsessively. I don’t know why I want to do that but I do. I’d like to just learn something.”
Or maybe her dream role would combine all three of those aforementioned new skills. “Yeah,” Foster laughed. “A Polish, javelin-throwing violinist.”
Money Monster opens Friday. Look for our full Q&A with Foster later this week.