Sun Valley Film Festival organizers could have shifted Sunday's coffee talk with Jodie Foster from the tight-but-comfortable quarters of Ketchum's NexStage Theatre to the larger Sun Valley Opera House and still had a full house. Heck, they probably could have put it on the side of Bald Mountain and fans still would have stood in line for an opportunity to see the two-time Oscar winner.
But fans got much more than a gaze at Foster. She shared candid, thoughtful insight on her 40-year-plus career and the penultimate SVFF event was everything a film buff could have asked for.
In front of a 10 a.m., bleary-eye audience (many of whom had attended the Built to Spill-Finn Riggins concert, which had wrapped several hours earlier), Foster spoke with refreshing clarity and measured focus.
"Keep in mind that I've been in this industry 47 years," said Foster, who looks at least 15 years younger than her 50 years. "I remember when I was 6 or7 years old and I was in (former ABC sitcom) The Courtship of Eddie's Father. And I watched one of the actors direct the episode. And I thought, 'That's something that I want to do.'"
Foster has directed three films and produced many more.
"I make personal films," she said. "I make movies about people who are trying to reach out to communicate but somehow can't. I'm attracted to stories of loneliness and the beauty and the curse of being solitary."
Foster was asked about a number of her most famous films and life experiences:
The Taxi Driver/John Hinckley Controversy: "It's a topic that I don't go into very deeply with the public. I had just turned 18. And I didn't want to be the girl in the history book."
Taxi Driver: "One of the greatest American movies ever made."
Silence of the Lambs: "Everybody was doing their best work."
Panic Room: "I've learned more from [director] David Fincher than any director I've ever worked with."
Her favorite directing effort: "It's usually the last one you made. But I think, honestly for me, it was Little Man Tate."
Her favorite acting effort: "I think Silence of the Lambs is probably the best movie I ever made."
When a youngster asked Foster, "Do you get nightmares from any of your scary movies?" Foster smiled.
"No, but I have dreams," she said.