Jodie Foster felt pressured to support family as a child star: ‘There was no other income’

Jodie Foster has been a Hollywood star for practically her entire life, and with that came undue pressure as a child.

In a new interview with The Atlantic, she discussed her life and career, including becoming the primary breadwinner after starting her career at age three in a Coppertone commercial.

Foster told the outlet that her mother and manager, Brandy, would often stress about their finances.

Close up of Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster said that there were times in her childhood as an actor when “there was no other income besides me.” (JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

Foster displayed maturity beyond her years in many of her early roles, like her Oscar-nominated role of a teen s:ex worker in “Taxi Driver,” but she still yearned for childhood, and more importantly, privacy.

The “Silence of the Lambs” star told The Atlantic she was followed by a documentary crew once when she was 13, which she didn’t like, but didn’t turn down because she felt it was part of her duty to her career and family. She broke down and went to her mother though when they wanted to follow her to Disneyland, recalling she just wanted to be a child for once, with no one paying attention to her.

She also felt like acting was an outlet for privacy. Foster said she would feel relieved when her mother stayed in her trailer while she was on set, and she could be on her own.

“She couldn’t get inside my body and take that experience from me,” Foster said. “She could take a whole bunch of experiences from me, but she couldn’t take one.”

“There’s a deliciousness to loneliness,” she continued. “There is nothing like the loneliness of lying in a pool of fake blood at three in the morning in Prospect Park with 175 people around you moving things and whatever — and knowing they will never understand what you’re going through.”

Brandy managed Foster’s career until she was in her twenties, when she won her Oscars for “The Accused” and “Silence of the Lambs.”

Jodie Foster hugging her mom Brandy

Foster with her mom Brandy in 2007. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Foster’s mother passed away in 2019 at age 90. In a statement at the time said, “Evelyn was without a doubt the strongest person her family has ever met, a champion, a fighter, full of fire and love. No one could beat her style, all five feet tall with naturally ‘cork screw’ hair. Her family will remember those dimple smiles and big hugs and well placed four letter words.”

Last December, Foster admitted she felt protective of the generation of actresses that have come after her, offering her own “almost entirely maternal advice.”

Jodie Foster sitting on a couch and speaking

Foster told Elle last year she feels protective of younger actresses and offers “almost entirely maternal advice.” (Katie Jones/Variety via Getty Images)

“I find myself reaching out to girls who could be my daughters and saying, ‘Wait a minute, you keep doing dumb things on publicity tours. What’s going on with you? This is a little self-sabotage. You know better than that. Who’s letting you do that? And where’s your mom?’” she told Elle in their 2023 Women in Hollywood issue.

“I do have this really big soft spot for the young actresses who came up as young people, because I just don’t know how they survive without some mother around the way I had a mom around,” she continued.


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