Jodie Foster details how 'uncomfortable' it was playing a prostitute aged 12 in Taxi Driver

"Scorsese would say something like 'unzip his fly' and just start laughing"

Christopher Hooton
Friday 20 May 2016 16:20 BST

Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster has given a little insight into the filming of Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic Taxi Driver, saying no-one, not even the director, knew how to approach her part.

Foster was 12 at the time and played teenage prostitute Iris.

Talking on The Graham Norton Show, she said: "I was 12 years old and had made more movies than anyone else on the film at that point.

"They were very uncomfortable about my character. Nobody knew how to direct me.

"Scorsese would say something like 'unzip his fly' and just start laughing and not know what to do so he would hand it over to Robert De Niro and then Robert would tell me what to do.

"And he was even more 'Robert De Niro' then, even quieter and more strange."

Her use of ‘Robert De Niro’ as an adjective is interesting, and somehow you get what she means even without having met him.

During her appearance on the chat show, she also discussed what it was like working with Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.

"I never spoke to him because he was so scary,” she recalled. “The first day we had a read-through and by the end of it I never wanted to talk to him again - I was petrified.

"We got to the end of the movie and really had never had a conversation.

"I actually avoided him but on the last day he came up to me and I said, with tears in my eyes, how scared I was of him and he said, 'But, I was scared of you!"'

Foster was joined on the Graham Norton sofa by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who were promoting their new film The Nice Guys. The episode airs on 20 May on BBC One at 10.35pm.

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