Nah. It’s not my thing. I don’t have anything against it for other people. Whatever they want to do, I’m fine with it. For me, it’s really a self-image thing. Like, I’d rather have somebody go, "Wow, that girl has a big nose" than "Wow, that girl has a bad nose job." I’d rather have a comment about who I am than about something that identifies me as being ashamed of who I am.
Your next movie is a family adventure called Nim’s Island. What interested you about that project?
I’ve always wanted to do a kids’ movie because my kids can’t see any of my films. They’ve seen Bugsy Malone, maybe half of Napoleon and Samantha, but I think that’s it. This is really exciting. Not only can they see the film, but my older son can read the book.
How do your kids react to seeing you on-screen or on the set?
Initially when Charlie was really young, he didn’t understand. He’d only seen movies of me when I was a kid, so he thought I went to work and became a child and then by the time I got home, I became an adult again. Then one time he came to the set of Panic Room, and everything was boarded up and everybody was wearing hammers. So he got this idea that I was in construction and I was building houses. I think now he’s figured it out. Now he’s trying to angle a way to be on film.
Let’s hear his pitch.
"I want to be in movies. Why can’t you get me a job?" Then I say, "You have to earn that. If you want to be an actor, you can start by doing a little theater." Then he says, "I’m not interested in that. I just want to be famous and see my face." Sometimes the paparazzi will come by, and Charlie will be like [Foster strikes a pose, throwing her arms out and making a funny face] and say, "Why can’t we? Why can’t I get photographed? I like it!"
Whose career path inspires you?
Katharine Hepburn had a really long career. I look forward to aging onscreen, to making movies when I’m 65, 70, to playing the parts of real older women. I’d love to have the career of Meryl Streep. But I’m not sure I’ll want to work as much as she does in her 50s. [Laughs]
On Family and Maintaining Her Privacy
Let’s talk about your ring.
This one? [Proffers left hand] It’s Tiffany, an eternity ring.
You’re wearing it on your wedding ring finger.
I am. I’ve always worn a ring. Even taking photos. Even on magazine covers. I don’t take it off.
Don’t you think wearing a ring like that raises questions?
Well, but that’s my life. I thought about this recently: I had a nightmare the other night. Well, anyway….
C’mon! Let’s hear the nightmare!
I was being interviewed by somebody, like an innocuous [press] junket thing. They were asking me questions about food I liked or whatever. Then they said, [in a high, innocent voice] "Have you ever written any homemade anti-Semitic cards?" And I was like, [horrified] "No!" Then she said, "Come with me," and I realized to myself, "You’re so stupid. Haven’t you ever seen that 60 Minutes thing where they ask you a banal question? You’re not supposed to say yes or no. You’re supposed to go, ‘Well, that’s interesting.’ Because if they ask you the banal question, it’s because they have some kind of document on you. And now you’ve got to go! And now the camera’s going to follow you!" Then my dream was over.[Pauses and reflects before continuing]