Jodie Foster has been a pretty big star for a lot of years, and a good deal of those years were her formative ones. She was a child star before that term even really existed, a little tow-headed kid who first appeared in Disney movies and on television shows like “Mayberry R.F.D” and “The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father”. She won us over with her earnest personality and freckle-faced tomboyishness.
But, like many stars who have been in the spotlight for a long time, she was way ahead of her years, which shines through in her performance as Iris in “Taxi Driver”. She was beautiful and smart and more mature than many of her peers, and soon enough she earned herself a stalker and a new wary view of the world. She’s managed to keep herself to herself, perhaps by taking non-splashy roles in recent years and staying out of the media storm that surrounds every movie star these days. In a time of social media and paparazzi, that isn’t so easy to do. But she has some words of advice to her former co-star, Kristen Stewart, and to the people who have the power to make her life a living hell now that she’s come clean about her affair with married “Snow White And The Huntsman” director Rupert Sanders.
When Foster worked with Stewart on “Panic Room”, Stewart was just a kid; in an essay penned by Foster recently, she remembers the young actress with a certain amount of innocence only found in children of a particular age, and is afraid that in the subsequent 11 years, a lot has changed. We have changed her.
A beautiful young woman strides down the sidewalk alone, head down, hands drawn into fists. She’s walking fast, darting around huge men with black cameras thrusting at her mouth and chest. ‘Kristen, how do you feel?’ ‘Smile Kris!’ ‘Hey, hey, did you get her?’ ‘I got her. I got her!’ The young woman doesn’t cry. F— no. She doesn’t look up. She’s learned, Foster writes.
Foster hands out advice to Stewart at the end of the article, but it also seems like a plea to the media, as well.
My mother had a saying that she doled out after every small injustice, every heartbreak, every moment of abject suffering. “This too shall pass.” God, I hated that phrase. It always seemed so banal and out of touch, like she was telling me my pain was irrelevant. Now it just seems quaint, but oddly true … Eventually this all passes. The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And, yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. You trust less. You calculate your steps. You survive. Hopefully in the process you don’t lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and—finally—the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don’t let them take that away from you.