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Jodie Foster reveals Taxi Driver co-stars uneasy with her teenage prostitute

Published 20/05/2016

Jodie Foster during the filming of The Graham Norton Show (So TV/PA)
Jodie Foster during the filming of The Graham Norton Show (So TV/PA)

Oscar winning actress Jodie Foster said her teenage prostitute character in Martin Scorsese's hit film Taxi Driver made her co-stars uncomfortable.

Foster was 12 years old when she played the character Iris in Scorsese's 1976 film alongside Robert De Niro.

De Niro's portrayal of Travis Bickle, a former US marine who becomes a taxi driver, earned him his first Oscar nomination and saw Foster nominated in the best supporting actress category.

Talking on The Graham Norton Show, she said: "I was 12 years old and had made more movies than anyone else on the film at that point.

"They were very uncomfortable about my character. Nobody knew how to direct me.

"Scorsese would say something like 'unzip his fly' and just start laughing and not know what to do so he would hand it over to Robert De Niro and then Robert would tell me what to do.

"And he was even more 'Robert De Niro' then, even quieter and more strange."

Another stand-out role of hers, and for which she won a best actress Oscar, was the 1991 thriller The Silence Of The Lambs.

Based on the novel of the same name, she played FBI agent Clarice Starling alongside Anthony Hopkins' serial killer character, Hannibal Lecter.

Foster revealed she was so terrified of Hopkins that she barely spoke to him during filming.

She said: "I never spoke to him because he was so scary. The first day we had a read-through and by the end of it I never wanted to talk to him again - I was petrified.

"We got to the end of the movie and really had never had a conversation.

"I actually avoided him but on the last day he came up to me and I said, with tears in my eyes, how scared I was of him and he said, 'But, I was scared of you!'"

Other guests joining Foster on Norton's red sofa this week are actors Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who are promoting their latest film Nice Guys.

Olympic diver Tom Daley also appears on the show, explaining that his Olympic swimwear is small because "everything has to stay in place".

He said: " If you're spinning around, the last thing you want to do is have something come out of place! And when you hit the water you don't want things flapping about because it would hurt."

:: The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One on May 20 at 10.35pm.

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