Jodie Foster is back to a TV series! In the MAX’s new series True Detective: Night Country, she played the police chief investigating a case in Alaska. During her 58 year career, she told me why she picks projects and more!
Q: Were you fans of the previous seasons of True Detective?
JF: Yeah, I love that series. Maybe, I don’t want to say that it was the beginning of streaming, but maybe it was the beginning of my addiction to streaming. So it was just one of those things that I just binge-watched and loved and always return to.
Q: What attracted you to joining this show? This is your first starring role in a series since 1975, which looked like it surprised you.
JF: That is really surprising. ’75 was a long time ago, yeah. Yeah, I lived in the feature world and… – well, we’ve come to an amazing moment, I think, in cinema history. And that’s the time that real narrative is really on streaming. So I think that’s where some of the best work is being done. And it gives you an opportunity to explore characters without necessarily having it be a slave to the genre. And also having six episodes allows you to bring in other voices, I think, than the traditional voices that we might see and that we have seen in features (feature films). So yeah, I’m super excited to be – of course, I’ve directed and produced in the television world a lot.
Q: Working in Iceland, how did the environment add to the feel of the show; and what were your experiences like? And what were some of the most impressive locations?
JF: Yeah, huge challenges, as you can imagine, working at night, first of all, and trying to light nighttime and in the snow with all the elements. But strangely, we kind of had the gods on our side. Like we never – right when we needed all this snow we got all the snow. And right when we needed it to be calm, it was calm.
And the survival element to that, the kind of pain that comes along with that, and you can imagine the – in places like northern – in the Arctic and northern Alaska, and Greenland, for example, how many hundreds of thousands of people died because they just couldn’t survive it. You really feel like I got to watch out because if my car breaks down and I don’t have enough gas or whatever, I could die. I mean that is a part of – I think a part of the reason why people are so drawn to it. And of course, the extraordinary people that we met there.
Q: You could work on anything you want in your career at this point, and you have. What do you keep in mind when considering a new project?
JF: Huh. I don’t think I can work on anything. I mean it has been a really, really long – it’s been a long, fantastic adventure. I’ve worked for 58 years in the film business. And there are things I don’t want to repeat that I already did. There’s some stories that I’ve already told. And I’m really surprised that at 60 I think I’m happier than I’ve ever been, I think.
Something about recognizing that it isn’t my time, that it’s someone else’s time and being there to support them and bringing whatever knowledge, wisdom that I’ve accrued over the years and being able to apply that and help a team. And it’s just so much more fun. It’s so much more fun being a part of a team than being all by yourself getting pelted. And being so proud of a team and watching other actors that have different strengths than you have.
Also, having enough experiences technically in the film industry to be able to really have something – to be able to be supportive and have something to give.
Q: Do you think you would make a good detective yourself, yes or no?
JF: No. I would be a bad detective because I’m really farsighted and I don’t notice anything. So you could change your shirt or you could put on a mustache and I’d just be like, oh.
True Detective: Night Country is streaming on Max
Edited by Seana Magee