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Jodie Foster: Then & Now

Olga Raimondo

With the film Nyad and the new series True Detective: Night Country, one of Hollywood's longest-running careers continues. Jodie Foster, at 61, carries a 58-year career on her shoulders.

She began acting at the age of 3 and after only a few years of appearances on TV and in Disney films, she was selected by Scorsese for what would be her first great role (as well as the first to receive an Oscar nomination) at the mere age of 14.

Despite her starkly young age at the time of filming (she was barely 12 years old), Foster definitely had a lot of industry experience, perhaps even more than Scorsese and De Niro at the time.

During an interview she revealed that she was subjected to a psychological test to play Iris, the young protagonist prostitute, because as she announced: "the government of California wanted to make sure everything was okay with me", considering the embarrassment and discomfort that shooting certain scenes together with the over 30 year old Robert de Niro could create.

A detail that few people know is that for the more explicit scenes with her character, Foster had her older sister Connie stand in, who (despite looking similar) was 8 years older than her. 

She also admitted that she considers herself lucky to have participated in the making of Scorsese's great cult classic, because she considers it a film that changed the history of cinema and certainly changed the course of her career.

The female actor, in recent years, has dedicated herself mainly to her work as a director, but in 2021 she was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival to receive the Palme d'Or for her lifetime achievement.

After several awards such as Baftas, Sag Awards and David di Donatello, and an absence of 30 years, she returns to the competition with her fifth Academy nomination for her moving performance in the film Nyad.

This great return is also a record-breaker. For the first time this year two actors from the LGBTQ+ community were nominated for playing characters who are themselves part of the community, Foster and Colman Domingo. 

The film tells the story of Diana Nyad (played by her colleague Annette Bening, also in the running for an Oscar), the sixty-year-old athlete who decides to realise a seemingly impossible dream: swimming the open stretch of sea from Florida to Cuba.

Regardless of how the Academy awards ceremony goes on the night of March 10, Jodie Foster will remain one of the pillars of the Hollywood industry.


Annette Bening and Jodie Foster in Nyad, 2023

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