When Jodie Foster talks, we listen (and sometimes drool)


Jodie Foster makes me weak at the knees. She has done so for as long as I can remember and will no doubt continue to do so until my golden years, when I will inevitably require double knee-replacement surgery — caused, in no small part, by her superhuman joint-weakening powers. She is everything that is sexy about a smart woman, as well as just damn sexy, period. If you think I’m exaggerating about that last bit, please let me present exhibit hummana hummana:

That glimpse of white tank top nirvana is the surprise gift waiting inside this month’s W magazine (you know, the one with Fraulein Paltrow on the cover). Man, if only they’d put this on the cover instead, W would have seen its lesbian subscriptions skyrocket. The accompanying article is signature Jodie. She is truly the master of giving just enough of herself to let us think we know her, but never more than she wants us to know. Still, if there is one thing she is perfectly clear about, it’s her distaste for the Hollywood game. As she told W:

“I can’t do any social-related celebrity anything. When I was in my 20s, I could still kind of do that because it was, like, ‘Wow! Sting!’ But at this point, while I’m fascinated by talented people, it’s not enough to make me want to put on makeup and do that thing.”

That quote is a perfect example of why I feel about the opening of a Jodie Foster film the way other people feel about waking up Christmas morning. It’s the only time of the year (or, more accurately, years) when she actually does press. And we get to see shots of her looking like this.

By her own admission, Jodie doesn’t grant interviews when she’s not promoting a film. Her fierce protection of her private life is legendary. Fans like me tend to hoard these rare stretches of public exposure like a squirrel storing acorns before a long winter. Let me tell you, my cheeks are full right now. Uh, figuratively. Not only did Jodie give previously reported-on interviews with the Los Angeles Times and More, but she is also the current cover girl on Entertainment Weekly and C magazines.

One of the more interesting things I’ve noticed is that almost every interview mentions the secrecy around her sexuality. This is quite a shift from a few years ago, when the mainstream press kept all whiff of her personal life off its pages. Still, other than her tantalizing More answer about her “eternity ring,” Jodie remains firmly wedded to her traditional “No comment.” EW asked her to respond to Out magazine’s controversial “The Glass Closet” cover, featuring models holding masks of her and Anderson Cooper:

“Was that the one with the Popsicle sticks?” Her thin lips tighten into a calm half smile of reproach: “No, I have no response.”

Popsicle sticks. Oh, that’s classic. Here are some other great gems from her recent spate of interviews. From C, on her dislike of dressing up for photo shoots: “It’s pretty much like sticking my eyes with a pencil.” From EW, on her inspiration for the look of her Inside Man character (whom Jodie has signed on to reprise in an upcoming sequel and who will get her own presumably Jodie-less TV pilot): “You know the Louis Vuitton ad with Uma Thurman where she looks like the perfect Aryan total goddess with slick blond hair and all the jewelry and the lipstick? I took that in and said, ‘I want to look like that, only I’m not her so I’m not going to be as pretty.’” Hmm, I don’t know. I think she is selling herself seriously short in the pretty department.

And perhaps my favorite, most telling quote isn’t even from Jodie. It’s from The Brave One director Neil Jordan, recalling a conversation they had while she was stretching on set: “I said, ‘Jodie, did you do ballet as a kid?’ She said, ‘No, I was always more into karate.’” Oh, really. I never would have guessed. Nope, never at all.

Expect the Jodie bonanza to continue until The Brave One opens Sept. 14. Catch her on the Late Show With David Letterman Sept. 10 and the Today show Sept. 11. And just for good measure, check out this new featurette on the making of the film. Consider my knees sufficiently hobbled.



[W and C images via JodieFoster.nu]

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