Despite a career of 40-plus years that includes two Academy Awards, Jodie Foster doesn’t think of herself as a star. The actress-turned-director acknowledges that she once had “a kind of high-profile, A-list actor career,” but even attributes much of that success to her ability to “pick wisely.”

Her latest project, “The Beaver,” may actually lead people to question this. She readily admits “it’s an odd movie” and is quick to point out that though there’s some lightness, it’s not a comedy. The screen veteran enjoys that the film’s title makes people uncomfortable and vehemently defends her co-star and longtime friend, Mel Gibson.

“The Beaver” is the story of Walter Black (Gibson), a depressed toy-store executive whose life is suddenly turned around when he discovers an old beaver hand-puppet in a dumpster. The charming little beaver takes on a life of his own, becoming an indispensable tool for Walter’s survival.

Though Foster jokingly admits it’s not her job to get people to see the film, it’s clearly important to her that it finds its audience. “I make movies that touch people in a primal way. When I get to make movies that I love, that stand for me as a director, that’s fantastic.”

A worrier by nature, Foster admits to spending a lot of time in a dark place that looks like depression, ruminating about her own life. But she feels fairly well-adjusted and able to look at the tragic things in her life in a comedic way.

“My movies are personal. I understand solitary people and the ramifications of a solitary life.”

“The Beaver” is a story about that solitude, that dark place, the emptiness of a human soul in depression. And no, it’s not a comedy.

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