[ENTERTAINMENT]No need to panic: Jodie Foster's back

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[ENTERTAINMENT]No need to panic: Jodie Foster's back

TOKYO Jodie Foster has had a wealth of juicy film roles, such as the teenage prostitute in Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976), for which she won a best supporting actress Academy Award, and the backwoods free spirit in "Nell" (1994), for which she won the best actress Academy Award. But by far her most memorable role had to be as the FBI agent Clarice Starling in "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) ?and yet another Academy Award winner for her.

Foster, now 39 but with over 30 years of acting experience, is back with another thriller, "Panic Room," her first film since the less-than-successful "Anna and the King" (1999). "Panic Room" opened strongly on March 29 in the United States.

"Panic Room" was directed by David Fincher, of "Seven" (1995), and written by David Koepp, of "Mission: Impossible" (1996). The film features Foster as Meg Altman, a seemingly weak but tenacious and newly divorced mother of a young daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart). On the very first night that the mother and daughter move to a posh Manhattan mansion, they find themselves under siege by three home invaders. They hide in the panic room, a secure vault designed to protect the home's owners in just such a circumstance. Unfortunately for her, one of the invaders built the panic room, and knows it better than she does.

In a recent press conference held in Teikoku Hotel, Foster looked glad at the film's success. "I guess the theme of the film," she said, "protecting a family from outside danger, had an appeal to American audiences who were deeply hurt by the September 11 terrorist attack." Though she looked fatigued, yawning frequently, she thanked the press for complimenting her performance.

For "Panic Room," Foster made two big sacrifices last year. First, she turned down an offer to head the jury at the Cannes International Film Festival, and later she continued with the film even after learning she was pregnant with her second child. "It was so hard to go on for five and a half months," she said, "I went to sleep whenever I could on the set." One of the major nuisances was that she had to wear a tank top in the film. Foster said she was concerned that her pregnancy might become visible, and she had to wear a loose sweater by the end of shooting.

Initially Nicole Kidman had signed up for the role, but an injury forced her to bow out. But Foster was eager for the opportunity. "It was the director, Fincher, that made me want to take part in the film," she said. "Ever since I saw 'Seven,' I've always wanted to work with him." She continued to praise Fincher, calling him "the greatest technician that I've ever met in my 36 years of acting. He knows exactly what he wants to shoot." But he was not easy to work for. She had to shoot one scene 107 times due to the perfectionist director. But Foster understands, being a director herself. She is now finishing off her latest directorial project, "Flora Plum," whose filming process was halted because of a shoulder injury suffered by Russell Crowe. "Panic Room" is to be released in Korea later this year.

by Ki Sun-min

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