Actor-director-producer Jodie Foster visited a packed Ahmanson Auditorium earlier this afternoon for a discussion and Q&A with Film instructor Dan Perri as part of the Film Department’s Distinquished Filmmakers Series. Foster, who’s next starring in director Roman Polanski’s Carnage (trailer embedded below), shared with Art Center students her experiences as a director on the sets of Little Man Tate, Home for the Holidays and The Beaver, as well as her thoughts on filmmaking in general and a few of the great directors that she’s worked with.
Here are a few highlights from the event:
Foster on when she first became interested in directing: “When I was six years old I did a television show called The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. One day, the director showed up and it was the other actor, Bill Bixby, and my mouth just hung open. That’s when I realized actors could be directors and I remember thinking that someday that’s what I wanted to do.”
On the importance of words: “I don’t write, but I love writing. I was a literature major and I’m all about words. That’s my connection. And that’s even my connection as an actor, strangely. I’m one of the few actors I know that connects with words first and images later. I don’t make action films, I make personal films, so I have to download my psyche onto the script before I even start shooting so that the film reflects my personal psychological evolution. If it doesn’t, then I’m not engaged.”
On working with producers: “I love the creative partnership between the producer and the director. In the world of studio movies, everybody has this idea that a producer is an antagonist. In the best of all possible worlds, the producer is your brother or sister. They’re your right hand person that goes through the entire process with you and that loves your child as much as you do. You’re there to create this thing together.”
On juggling producing and acting: “I prefer to direct and produce at the same time. Producing and acting is a bad idea. It makes for a very difficult relationship with the director. The director should never have to have a budget schedule conversation with another actor. The director should never have to have conversations about the costars with another actor. There are many conversations that shouldn’t happen between a director and an actor, and unfortunately when you’re producing a movie, you have to have those conversations.”
Continued after the jump.