Jodie Foster already has more than 90 combined acting and directing credits to her name, and she’s not slowing down anytime soon.
At Tuesday’s premiere of the upcoming documentary “Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache,” Foster discussed her current ambitions as a budding director, as well as her long term goals to evolve as an actress in her later years.
“I’m pretty focused on the behind-the-scenes now,” Foster said. “Sometimes I’ll make more movies as a director and sometimes more as an actor. I would say this is a more director-heavy moment, but I’m for sure going to be acting a lot when I’m 70 and 80. I’m really excited about that, actually.”
Foster, who executive produced and narrates the doc about Guy-Blache’s accomplishments as a pioneering filmmaker, also reflected on her own start as a director when women were scarcely seen behind the camera.
“I was incredibly lucky, at a very young age, to have had lots of experience with some of the guys that had the ability to give me my first job as a director, and they trusted me,” Foster said. “At 27-years-old, to trust a woman with a substantial movie is something I’ll never forget.”
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But Foster insists there’s plenty of room to grow. Though she has worked steadily in the industry for nearly five decades, the Hollywood veteran still considers herself somewhat new to filmmaking.
“I’ve always been in two different parts of the business, and as an actor I’ve made far more movies and was far more accomplished,” she said. “I’m far more confident about that, and as a director, I’m still searching. I’m young as a director, so I still have so much more to learn.”
Even fresher to the filmmaking scene is the director of “Be Natural,” Pamela B. Green, who said she drew inspiration from her trailblazing subject while navigating a male-dominated field. Prior to “Be Natural,” most of Green’s industry experience involved designing opening titles for others’ films.
“I worked predominantly with men,” Green said. “It was always helping them, giving them the credit, when I was behind the scenes doing some of the work myself. So through this project, I myself gained confidence and decided that I need to stand up for myself and be strong and go out there and do it, so she definitely had an impact on me.”
Guy-Blache had a profound impact on Foster, as well. In an era when the popular film style emphasized “grand gestures” and “theatricality,” Foster praised Guy-Blache for being ahead of her time and taking more grounded approaches to storytelling — a virtue Foster plans to incorporate into her own directing style for her films to come.
“I will always believe in realism,” Foster said. “The power of realism is why I make films. It’s why, as a little girl, I sat in the theater and clutched my throat — because it felt real.”
More of the premiere’s attendees included “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” star Kiernan Shipka, “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly, and “Moana’s” Auli’i Cravalho. The guests celebrated after the screening with macarons, champagne, and French-inspired refreshments.
“Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache,” which first premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, opens in LA on April 19 and NY on April 26 before expanding nationwide later in the spring.