Jodie Foster recently accepted the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award at the Athena Film Festival. Before accepting the award, she spoke at Barnard College and took the opportunity to express her opinion on why more female directors are needed in the industry.
Foster started in the film industry at the young age of three and explained that the only time she saw a woman’s face was if they were playing her mother on screen or doing her makeup.
“When I was growing up in the film business, I never saw a woman’s face,” Foster said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Sometimes it would be a lady who played my mom. Occasionally, it would be a makeup artist, but most often it would really just be me and the script supervisor,” the 52-year-old actress continued. “Little by little, as time went on, a few female faces came onto crews, and it changed everything. Men [who were my] fathers and brothers, little by little, women came into their world and suddenly the family was a more realistic family.”
Foster has long been a part of the entertainment industry, but mostly as just an actress. The two-time Oscar winner said she never thought about being behind the camera until she was made aware that there were actually female directors out there by her mother, who took her to a film festival focused solely on the works of director Lina Wertmuller.
“There I was a young girl wanting to be a director and never seeing a female director’s face. I thought it was something…I would never be allowed to do. I came to realize that I could be a woman director if I wanted to because there was one out there, and that was a life-changing moment for me.”
While women directors are becoming more prominent in the industry, Foster said there is still a need for more.
“I don’t think there’s a plot to keep women from directing,” Jodie said.
“There aren’t enough women directors,” Jodie said, according to People Magazine. “And hopefully that will change. And perhaps that will change with this next generation.”
Foster has taken on many projects as a director, most recently working on the second season of Netflix’s House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
“As a director, dramedy is what I do. It’s not who I am as an actor,” Foster explained. “The genre requires a very specific skill in terms of recognizing what is quirky and perverse, and to be moved by it. The female prisoners on Orange Is The New Black have a very spiritual journey that’s so complex. They’re all soul-searching and they change through each other.”
[Image via Creativecommons.org]