“If I were a young actor today I would quit before I started.”
That’s what Jodie Foster says in the wake of the Kristen-Stewart-cheated-on-Robert-Pattinson scandal and the way the media has dealt with it.
Foster, who began acting at the age of 3, has written an opinion piece for The Daily Beast called ‘Jodie Foster Blasts Kristen Stewart–Robert Pattinson Break-Up Spectacle’ in which she defends her former co-star (Jodie and Kristen starred in Panic Room in 2002 when Kristen was just 11) and offered some advice from one child actor to another.
(Text continues below the image.)
In Jodie Foster’s era, “you could still manage to reach for a star-powered career and have the authenticity of a private life”. But the kind of private life she was able to maintain no longer exists for stars like Kristen Stewart.
If I were a young actor or actress starting my career today in the new era of social media and its sanctioned hunting season, would I survive? Would I drown myself in drugs, sex, and parties? Would I be lost?
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: if I were a young actor today I would quit before I started. If I had to grow up in this media culture, I don’t think I could survive it emotionally. I would only hope that someone who loved me, really loved me, would put their arm around me and lead me away to safety. Sarah Tobias would never have danced before her rapists in The Accused. Clarice would never have shared the awful screaming of the lambs to Dr. Lecter.
Another actress might surely have taken my place, opened her soul to create those characters, surrendered her vulnerabilities. But would she have survived the paparazzi peering into her windows, the online harassment, the public humiliations, without overdosing in a hotel room or sticking her face with needles until she became unrecognizable even to herself?
Jodie said she first me Kristen Stewart on the set of Panic Room where they spent 5 months together filming, during which time she “grew to love that kid”. More from Jodie’s op ed:
She [Kristen] turned 11 during our shoot and on her birthday I organized a mariachi band to serenade her at the taco bar while she blew out her candles. She begrudgingly danced around a sombrero with me but soon rushed off to a basketball game with the grip and electric departments. Her mother and I watched her jump around after the ball, hooting with every team basket. “She doesn’t want to be an actor when she grows up, does she?” I asked.
Her mom sighed. “Yes … unfortunately.” We both smiled and shrugged with an ambivalence born from experience. “Can’t you talk her out of it?” I offered. “Oh, I’ve tried. She loves it. She just loves it.” More sighs. We watched her run around the court for a while, both of us silent, each thinking our own thoughts. I was pregnant at the time and found myself daydreaming of the child I might have soon. Would she be just like Kristen? All that beautiful talent and fearlessness … would she jump and dunk and make me so proud?
But she says she worries the pressure of fame and the media might have taken their toll on the 22-year-old actress who is these days rarely seen as she is described above.
Jodie ended the piece with some heartfelt advice:
My mother had a saying that she doled out after every small injustice, every heartbreak, every moment of abject suffering. “This too shall pass.” God, I hated that phrase. It always seemed so banal and out of touch, like she was telling me my pain was irrelevant.
Now it just seems quaint, but oddly true … Eventually this all passes. The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And, yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. You trust less. You calculate your steps.
You survive. Hopefully in the process you don’t lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and—finally—the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don’t let them take that away from you.
You can read the full article here.
Do you think the media are quicker to judge young actors and actresses for their indiscretions than they were in the past?