In Mike Fleming’s big interview with Jodie Foster last week—part of Deadline’s first Cannes print edition—she said she felt seminal work like Taxi Driver, which she starred in when she was 13, would never get off the ground today. Following the Cannes premiere of her latest directorial project, Money Monster, she qualifies that statement: “I think it’s still possible to make those movies, [but] I don’t think it’s possible to make those movies financed by a major studio,” she tells me. “And that’s OK. I just want to make movies, so I’m happy to do them on my iPhone.”
Still, Money Monster feels of a similar wheelhouse: a movie for grown-ups financed and distributed by a major studio. Foster’s film follows George Clooney in real time, as a TV stocks advisor who is held hostage by a blue-collar worker who lost $60,000 on a bad tip. Foster says her attraction to the project was its blended examination of the financial world, the world of media entertainment and technology. That makes it a potent picture for today, and the director relishes the tale about a little guy who sees and feels injustice and tries to do something about it.
Foster thinks her work as an actor has informed her directing, and it’s hard to argue given the solid performances of Clooney, Jack O’Connell and Julia Roberts in Money Monster. She recalls meeting up with the casts of Taxi Driver and Silence of the Lambs in New York recently. “Sometimes I get worried because I feel like I’ll never be as good as I was in Silence of the Lambs or Taxi Driver,” she admits. “Those are once in a lifetime things and you hope that you’ll measure up in some way to the impact of those films.”