Jodie Foster Defends Kristen Stewart, Blames Scrutiny For Destroying Childhoods: [ send to a friend ]
Foster instead blames the culture of constant media scrutiny for destroying childhoods.
"There's no guilt in acknowledging the human interest in public linens," the Oscar winner writes in an essay. "It's as old as the hills. Lift up beautiful young people like gods and then pull them down to earth to gaze at their seams. See, they're just like us. But we seldom consider the childhoods we unknowingly destroy in the process."
"In my era, through discipline and force of will, you could still manage to reach for a star-powered career and have the authenticity of a private life. Not anymore," she explains.
"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."
"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?"
Foster then recalls filming David Fincher's 'Panic Room' with Stewart, who she describes as a different person and a "girl twirling in the surf. She's singing at the top of her lungs, jumping and spinning around in the cold water, all salty, sandy, full of joy and confidence. She's unconscious of the camera, of course, in her own world."
But today, she says, "a beautiful young woman strides down the sidewalk alone, head down, hands drawn into fists. She's walking fast, darting around huge men with black cameras thrusting at her mouth and chest... The young woman doesn't cry. F--k no. She doesn't look up. She's learned. She keeps her head down, her shades on, fists in her pockets. Don't speak. Don't look. Don't cry."
Foster finishes with a paragraph seemingly intended for Kristen Stewart herself.
"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," she writes. "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."