Jodie Foster is widely known as one of the most distinguished alumnae of Yale University, the prestigious Ivy League school. Even though she had already established herself as a successful actress, Jodie Foster, born Alicia Christian Foster in 1962, decided to pursue higher education at the prestigious University by specializing in the field of literature.
Her decision to specialize in literature may sound surprising as the young actress had almost reached the zenith of her acting career in 1977 when she was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actress category for her role as a teenage prostitute in Taxi Driver; the 1976 movie featuring Robert De Niro under the Direction of the legendary Martin Scorcese.
Billie Perkins, Jodie Foster, and Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver, 1975 pic.twitter.com/7pQh54IxjY
— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPix) October 3, 2016
Jodie Foster has been in show business since she was just three-years-old; however, she was always considered to be an academically inclined student who used her education for her artistic pursuits. According to University Herald, Jodie Foster used her French language education at The Lycee Francais de Los Angeles to win roles in French movies.
Despite specializing in literature, the already-talented actress went on to excel in both acting and direction. In 1997, Yale University awarded Jodie Foster an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts after she proved herself by winning two Academy Awards; the first for her role in The Accused and the second for The Silence of the Lambs, in addition to her direction of two popular movies, Little Man Tate and Home for the Holidays.
Most recently, BAFTA Los Angeles has announced that the actress would be the recipient of the 2016 Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film. According to Variety, Kieran Breen, the Chairperson of BAFTA Los Angeles, commended Jodie Foster’s talent in the contrasting roles she portrayed beautifully in two of the most acclaimed movies released in 1976: Taxi Driver and Bugsy Malone.
Jodie Foster Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese on the set of Taxi Driver photographed by Steve Shapiro 1976 pic.twitter.com/q3avpEqZ71
— History in Moments (@historyinmoment) August 25, 2016
By winning the Stanley Kubrick Achievement Award, Jodie Foster will join the ranks of other distinguished film personalities such as Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Denzel Washington.
Despite appreciating the important role that academic education plays, Jodie Foster credits her lifelong acting experience as the reason for the career success. According to W Magazine, the actress spoke about the significance of practical experience in the lives of film professionals who wish to build a successful career in acting.
“My entire life as an actor has been a film school for me. And not just the director, but to all the technicians and what goes into making a movie.”
’70s show biz: Robert De Niro & Jodie Foster attend the premiere of TAXI DRIVER at Cannes, 1976. pic.twitter.com/YrusbzOqUN
— Jon Sieruga (@Moonspinner55) October 12, 2016
Throughout her career, Jodie Foster has sharpened her skills by observing her directors and other artists, rather than maintaining a notebook or journal. More particularly, this talented actress credits Robert De Niro with making her realize that acting is more than pretending to play a character. In fact, Jodie Foster revealed that Robert De Niro took her under his wing when they were working together in Taxi Driver. The Godfather actor used to take her with him to coffee shops to improvise his lines by actually playing his Taxi Driver character in public.
Under Robert De Niro’s guidance, Jodie Foster realized the importance of actually creating the character rather than merely reading the script. The filming of Taxi Driver was clearly an enriching experience for the then 12-year-old actress who came to realize that becoming a successful actor is no simple task.
Taxi Driver 40th Anniversary:
Sybil Shepherd, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Jodie Foster & Harvey Keitel. pic.twitter.com/3AndI7nYS9
— Distracted Film (@distractedfilm) August 3, 2016
Currently, after spending 50 glorious, successful years in the film industry, Jodie Foster feels confident in sharing her filmmaking expertise. Even though she’s an extremely accomplished actress, the 53-year-old still relives the nervousness she experienced during her adolescent years. According to W Magazine, Jodie Foster spoke about the apprehension she still feels while casually socializing.
“I almost have a fear of picking up the phone and calling up somebody to say, ‘Would you like to have dinner or lunch with me?'”
[Featured Image by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images]