Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Jodie Foster to Bob De Niro

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, from "Taxidriver", Jodie Foster.

Jodie Foster: Well, when I was 12 years old, a strange man kept coming to my hotel room every day.

He would pick me up, and he would take me to various delis and diners around the seamier parts of Manhattan.

But mostly he would order black coffee for himself looking very uncomfortable, indeed, while I amused myself with the cutlery, or I joked with the waiters. Because God knows he was not about to talk.

And then the next day he'd pick me up, and he'd do the same thing all over again.

And if I hadn't been a "Mean Streets" fan already I'm pretty sure I would have called social services.

Finally, you know, he started running the lines in the script of Taxidriver with me over and over again. And by the last day when I was so bored with this routine, I was about ready to scream, he started saying weird things during the scenes, that had nothing to do with the dialogue.

So I quickly learned how to follow his improvisations, while weaving us back to the original script, that at this point felt as familiar as my own right hand.

So, Bob DeNiro took upon himself to introduce me to the craft of acting.

And although I'd already been working for 9 years, no one had ever trusted that I was capable of understanding what an actor really does. Because nobody had bothered.

He taught me how to build a character. And for that I'm grateful to you, Bob. You make a fine Henry Higgins. But an even better Travis Bickle.

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