• Golden Globe Awards

Jodie Foster Decided to, First, be a Person

For forty years the HFPA has recorded interviews with famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 interviews — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. Below is an excerpt: two-time Golden Globe winner and 2012 Cecil B. deMille recipient Jodie Foster recalls how important it was, for her, to take a break from acting in the early 1980s, dedicating most of her time and attention to her studies at Yale—and becoming, in the process, a better actor and a fully grounded person.

“When  I  first went to Yale, I was on acting –  is-not-enough path. I thought it wasn’t stimulating enough. In the end, I realized it was me who wasn’t allowing it to be.
The ages between seventeen and twenty-two are so seminal for everybody. You learn to know how you feel about things, you get involved with people and issues you would never have known. I don’t know who I would have been had I stayed only in the film industry.
I had never been around people my own age,  people my own age doing fascinating and stimulating things. I  was so inspired by humanitarianism. We were fighting for all sorts of causes. If you were a caring person, you were involved in looking at the wrongs and injustices of the world. It was an era when humanitarian values were upheld. The cool people were humanistic. I don’t think that’s as apparent these days.
I  don’t believe in this idea of a feminine sensibility, best suited for smallish, rosy-colored sepia movies, where people say  “I  love you”  all the time. I believe in a human sensibility. The issue is storytelling. A man is entitled to my feminine sensibility just as much as I  am. I have had twenty-five years of relationships without gender.  I think those barriers are changing.
I made a decision at a very young age that I would try to live the same life even if my career had its ups and downs. I  didn’t want to be one of those actors with a seven zillion dollars house in Beverly Hills and a huge mortgage, who has to do the Towering  Inferno.
I don’t believe fluctuations with your money should have anything to do with your personality. I will always drop off my letters at the post office, pick up my dry cleaning, drive my own car, because that’s what living is. If I stopped living, then what’s the point? Just so I can make a  few more phone calls?
Maybe this is the dumbest thing in the world, but what I would want to be remembered for is that I  made a really mean leek vinaigrette or that I really loved Miles  Davis’s trumpet. I  want to be remembered by the details of my life that are ordinary, but spectacular to me.
My favorite days involve sitting in my house, listening to my records, cooking things for people, laughing hysterically at very, very bad television. I’d rather be remembered for  those than any sort of bigger stuff that I’ve done.”