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SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: From Taxi Driver to Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. She started acting when she was three and has spent half a century in the film industry. In her latest project, the two time Oscar winner is behind the camera, directing the new thriller Money Monster. It stars George Clooney as a TV finance guru and Julia Roberts as his long time producer. The tension in the film begins when an investor who lost his life savings in the financial markets takes Clooney hostage live on air. 7.30’s Monique Schafter sat down earlier with Jodie Foster in Sydney.

MONIQUE SCHAFTER, REPORTER: Jodie Foster, thanks very much for talking to 7.30.

JODIE FOSTER: I think you know it. I think the second that you read a script and you’re moved and you can’t wait to get to the end and honestly, it’s always the characters. It’s always the relationship between these men who are both struggling with their ideas of themselves as failures and this woman who’s producing their survival.

(Excerpt from film Money Monster shown)

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: I know that films take a long, long time to make, .

JODIE FOSTER: Yes.

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: . but it’s amazing that this one, where the subject is about people who feels disempowered, has come out as we’re witnessing this huge movement of discontent, fuelling the rises of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders from both ends of the spectrum. Did you plan this?

JODIE FOSTER: No, there was no planning, but I think you can feel that people are angry. 2008 was an especially difficult time for everyone it was the mortgage crisis in the United States and that extended out into a crisis global crisis. There’s been a history of bubble, bust, bubble, crisis, bubble, crisis from 1928 on .

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: Yeah.

JODIE FOSTER: . and the last one really hit people. So, we felt that, but we had no idea that the political landscape was going to be what it was.

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: I suppose in terms of films,
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the feeling of disempowerment is something that we’ve seen before as well like, Wall Street came out 30 years ago.

JODIE FOSTER: Yes. Yeah, there’s lots of movies that have been about the system and about the financial system, Wall Street, certainly about corruption, but and greed. The Big Short what an interesting movie, such a brave and interesting movie. Our film really does focus on the characters though. The financial world is just a backdrop. There is an interesting where the audience is able to finally understand. It goes through this you know, everybody keeps telling them, “It’s too complicated. It’s too complicated for you to understand,” and then they finally through the course of the movie are able to understand what actually happened.

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: Speaking of films from the past, can you believe it’s 25 years since Silence of the Lambs and 40 years since Taxi Driver?

JODIE FOSTER: I know! 40 years since Taxi Driver! That one really hit me. It doesn’t feel like 40 years. What a great American classic. I feel so lucky to have been involved in that.

(Excerpt from film Taxi Driver shown)

The Silence of the Lambs what a great film. I guess you always get worried that you’re never gonna be as good, you know, that it was just like a lucky thing and that you’ll never find material that’s that important and that touching.

(Excerpt from film Silence of the Lambs shown)

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: Do you have any plans to act again or is directing your main focus now?

JODIE FOSTER: I don’t have any plans at all, which is a good thing. I have, you know, some plans to clean out my closet and sleep a lot, but I have no professional plans at all. I know that I’ll act again, but now is really the time for me to focus on directing.

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: This is an extraordinarily tense film to watch.

JODIE FOSTER: Yes.

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: As a director, how do you create that tension on screen?

JODIE FOSTER: Yeah, this film’s quite an experience. It’s really a ride for the audience because it is incredibly fast paced. Probably it’s the fastest paced movie I can remember.

(Excerpt from film Money Monster shown)

MONIQUE SCHAFTER: As well as directing film,
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you’ve also directed TV House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. How does directing TV compare to film?