Jodie Foster Talks Mentoring Young Actors and What She Finds ‘Annoying’ About Gen Z

Jodie Foster Talks Mentoring Young Actors and What She Finds ‘Annoying’ About Gen Z

“They’re like, ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30 a.m.,’” the venerable actor-director told The Guardian

Jodie Foster knows quite a bit about being a young person carving out a career in Hollywood. After all, the venerable actor-director’s first acting role came when she was age three. Later, she was cast for Taxi Driver at age 12, for which she was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category. So, she has quite a bit of empathy for young people who are coming up in the industry and she offered advice and talked mentorship in a new profile by The Guardian published on Sunday.

The True Detective: Night Country star advised young people in the business that “They need to learn how to relax, how to not think about it so much, how to come up with something that’s theirs. I can help them find that, which is so much more fun than being, with all the pressure behind it, the protagonist of the story.”

She also stressed the importance of mentoring young actresses. “I’m compelled. Because it was hard growing up,” she said. Last month, Foster asked Bella Ramsey, the non-binary star of HBO’s The Last of Us to introduce her at an Elle Women in Hollywood celebration and she obliged.

“I reached out to Bella, because we’d never met, and said, ‘I want you to introduce me at this thing’, which is a wonderful event about actors and people in the movies, but is also very much a fashion thing. Which means it’s determining who represents us. [The organizers] are very proud of themselves because they’ve got every ethnicity, and I’m like, yeah, but all the attendees are still wearing heels and eyelashes,” Foster said.

There are other ways of being a woman, and it’s really important for people to see that. And Bella, who gave the best speech, was wearing the most perfect suit, beautifully tailored, and a middle parting and no makeup.”

Foster said she could relate to Ramsey, 20, who told British Vogue that “I’m not 100 percent straight.” Foster said that things were bleak for her when she was young. “But I had my mom [Brandy], you know.”

Foster — who had publicly come out in 2007 when she thanked her then-partner film producer Cydney Bernard during a speech at a Hollywood Reporter’s Women In Entertainment event, and then paid tribute to Bernard during her 2013 Golden Globes speech — told The Guardian she would not have been able to appear sans makeup back in the day the way Ramsey was able to now due to the fact that “We weren’t free. Because we didn’t have freedom. And hopefully that’s what the vector of authenticity that’s happening offers — the possibility of real freedom. We had other things that were good.


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“And I would say: I did the best I could for my generation,” she continued. “I was very busy understanding where I fitted in and where I wanted to be in terms of feminism. But my lens wasn’t wide enough. I lived in an incredibly segregated world.”

While Foster supports and mentors Gen Z members, she also acknowledged perhaps a bit teasingly (her two sons whom she described as “super feminist” are in their 20s, which makes them Gen Z members) that there are things she has found irritating about some Gen Z people when it comes to working with them. “They’re really annoying, especially in the workplace. They’re like, ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30 a.m.,” she said. Or, like, in emails, I’ll tell them this is all grammatically incorrect, did you not check your spelling? And they’re like, ‘Why would I do that, isn’t that kind of limiting?’”

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