Jodie Foster Says Jonathan Demme Is Her ‘Favorite Female Director’

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Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Jonathan Demme has joined Paul Feig in the prestigious club of men who have been named honorary women. "I always say my favorite female director is Jonathan Demme," Jodie Foster told Julie Taymor during her Tribeca Film Festival talk on Wednesday. "He really is my favorite female director that I've ever worked with. He was the one guy who really understood Silence of the Lambs and was able to say, 'This is a movie about a woman who is our hero.'" Foster added, "He's the Braveheart of that woman's voice."

Foster and Taymor both said that they're sick of talking about women in Hollywood. "I think we're all looking forward to a day when we won't have to have it anymore," said Taymor. Foster elaborated on the problem: "Why are there no women directors in the big mainstream franchises is such an incredibly simple question. There's so many reasons, and some of them are about our psychology, some of them are about the financial world, some of them are about the global economy. There are so many answers to that question that go back hundreds of years. It would be nice to have a more complex conversation. To be able to look at it more than just a quota or numbers."

Foster thinks the gender gap comes from a place of neglect. "I just don't think it's as cut and dry as everybody thinks it is," she said. "I don't think there's some kind of big plot to keep women down. It's neglect, really. It's a bunch of people that weren't thinking about it, including a lot of female executives that have risen to the top and have not really made a dent in bringing many women into the mainstream world."