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Marlon Brando, the Womanizer
Jodie Foster, the Lion and the Lovers - Stories Behind The Screen
53    Dibyendu Banerjee    19/09/2022

Born Alicia Christian Foster on 19 November 1962 in Los Angeles, Jodie Foster , an American actress, the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, three British Academy Film Awards and three Golden Globe Awards, began her professional career as a child model at age three, when the doll-faced little girl appeared in a Coppertone television advertisement as a toddler on a boat with her family in 1965. Later, she made her big screen debut in the Disney movie Napoleon and Samantha (1972), in which she played the role of a girl who befriends a boy, played by Johnny Whitaker and his pet, a lion.

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One day, while filming a particular scene, the huge animal, leased with an almost invisible piano wire, was walking behind her. During the shot, probably the lion got fed up with her slow pace, as he picked her up and proceeded on his way, holding her sideways in his jaws, while shaking her casually like a doll. As she turned around, she saw the entire crew running off in the other direction, while the trainer of the animal was shouting at the top of his voice, instructing the animal to drop her down. Thankfully, the animal obeyed the order and dropped her down, leaving scars on her back and belly.

jodie foster the lion and the lovers
jodie foster the lion and the lovers

Later, the little girl, who was almost killed by a lion, created a sensation on the silver screen when she appeared as a preteen prostitute in the psychological thriller Taxi Driver (1976), directed by the same Martin Scorsese and earned an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her precocious and complex performance in the film.

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After that, she excelled as a sexually assaulted girl fighting for justice in the face of victim-blaming in the film Accused (1988), which earned her the much coveted Academy and Golden Globe Awards, along with a nomination for a BAFTA Award. Her triumphant march continued, as she won all the Academy, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for her portrayal of FBI trainee Clarice Starling in the psychological horror film The Silence of the Lamb (1991), her first film release following her grand success in The Accused.

jodie foster the lion and the lovers
Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver

Jodie Foster, who began her career as a tomboyish and excelled in her dramatic portrayals of misfit characters set against intimidating challenges, has earned numerous awards in her long career in the film industry and was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016.

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In addition to that, an asteroid that orbits the Sun mainly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, was named after her as ‘17744 Jodiefoster’.

jodie foster the lion and the lovers
With Jennifer Beals

In her personal life, Jodie Foster has dated many famous men and women throughout her life, which include Russell Crowe, Julian Sands, Cydney Bernard, Rob Lowe, Gillian Anderson and others .It is believed that she dated Tina Landau from 1981 to 1983, during their days at Yale University, The Hotel New Hampshire co-stars Nastassja Kinski during 1982 and Rob Lowe in 1984.and actress and former teen model Jennifer Beals from 1983 to 1986.

jodie foster the lion and the lovers
With Kelly McGillis

After that, she was involved in a close relationship with The Accused co-star Kelly McGillis in 1988, who earlier earned a Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination for her role in Top Gun in 1986. American architect and designer Marco Pasanella was also her date at the 62nd Academy Awards in 1986, while she dated her Siesta co-star Julian Sands from 1988 to 1989 and Russell Crowe from 1999 to 2000. In 2008, after breaking up with their respective partners, The Brave One screenwriter Cynthia Mort and Jodie Foster dated in 2008.

jodie foster the lion and the lovers
With Nastassja Kinski

However, the sexual orientation of Jodie Foster came under public speculation and discussion only in 1991, when some publications took exception, protesting against the alleged homophobia and transphobia in The Silence of the Lambs, claiming that Jodie was a lesbian. Nevertheless, the odd criticisms did not perturb Jodie’s personal life in the least. During the filming of Sommersby in 1993, she met Cydney Bernard, the production coordinator of the film and soon they became close enough to be involved in an intimate relationship, continuing until 2008 and having two sons during that period. However, nobody is sure about the identity of the biological father of her children, which still remains doubtful and shrouded in mystery. It is presumed that probably she preferred the process of artificial insemination, selecting the donors according to their intelligence quotient. Nevertheless, after a year of dating, Jodie Foster finally married actress and photographer Alexandra Hedison in April 2014, at the age of 52. The notoriously private Foster stunned the audience, when she confirmed the long-running speculation that she is gay, but joked she would not be holding a news conference to discuss her private life.

jodie foster the lion and the lovers
With Alexandra Hedison
Marlon Brando, the Womanizer
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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