Jodie Foster goes behind the camera at a creepy Netflix show

The first movie that Jodie Foster ever directed was about a single mom raising a son. Her latest project behind the camera is also about a single mom — but this time one who is raising a daughter.

For an episode of the Netflix series “Black Mirror,” Foster had to dig deep into mother-daughter dynamics to tell the story of a mom so anxious about her girl that she turns to a sophisticated surveillance tool.

Foster is a mother of two boys — and her debut as a director was “Little Man Tate” in 1991 — so she reached back to how she interacted with her own mom and the push and pull that involved. It’s different with boys, she said.

“When you’re raising a man, you’re just so in awe at how different they are,” she said. “It’s just so amazing to you how different they are in every way — not just the physical ways but how they think. It’s very easy to understand that they are separate from you. It’s not so easy, I think, with female children.”

The “Black Mirror” episode, titled “ArkAngel,” is part of season four of writer Charlie Brooker’s anthology series that taps into our collective unease with the modern world. Foster’s episode stars Rosemarie DeWitt, whose credits include “La La Land” and “Mad Men.”

DeWitt, who has two young daughters, plays the mom wrestling with the implications of eavesdropping on her daughter as she grows into a woman. The actress laughs about a “gentle tension” on the set.

“I sometimes felt Jodie was really rooting for the daughter and I was really rooting for myself. So we had this combustible thing,” said DeWitt. “It’s a really sticky relationship — mothers and daughters.”

Brooker’s script intrigued both women with its ethical quandaries and rich characters. Foster likens the series to “The Twilight Zone,” serving up twists and messy human reactions to technology.

“In some ways, the technology has outpaced our ethics and the ability for us to understand the monster that we’ve created,” she said. “Technology is kind of like a blender — it’s just this inanimate object that doesn’t have any feelings. It doesn’t have a point of view. It’s benign. It’s just doing what we asked it to do and that’s the part we have to be careful of.”

Foster, whose acting roles include “The Silence of the Lambs,” ”Inside Man” and “The Accused,” said she was attracted to Netflix after finding Hollywood really only interested in big franchise films. “Real narrative is on streaming cable now,” she said.

The episode marks the first time friends Foster and DeWitt have worked together and Foster said her leading actress “just inhabits a character in a way that feels completely and totally real.”

For her part, DeWitt said having an Oscar-winning actress-turned-director guide her was a little tricky. “I could never be, like ‘But this is hard, Jodie!’ Because she did it in ‘Panic Room.’ She’s done it a million times.”

Just Posted

RDC Kings soccer clinch playoff spot on final day of ACAC season

Kings play Concordia University of Edmonton on Oct. 25 in ACAC Championships

Frantic final push for votes marks final day of divisive campaign

OTTAWA — The contenders in Monday’s federal election spent the last day… Continue reading

Former NHLer Clint Malarchuk shares mental health journey in Lacombe

Former goalie and current mental health advocate supports Schizophrenia Society of Alberta

Sunday Red Deer election forum on diversity, inclusion cancelled

A Red Deer election forum scheduled for Sunday afternoon has been cancelled.… Continue reading

Boy, 5, dead after being hit by truck his dad was driving at Alberta landfill

LAC LA BICHE, Alta. — Police say a five-year-old boy has died… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer Citizens on Patrol monitoring downtown with new program

Volunteers will patrol downtown Red Deer to help keep the city safe.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday The Small Business Centre at Burman University’s School of Business invites… Continue reading

Ever since I was a youngster, my life has gone to the dogs

I’ve really been going to the dogs lately. “That’s for sure,” you… Continue reading

By necessity, some stories are sad

One of the comments I received was my columns have gotten away… Continue reading

RDC Kings draw, Queens soccer fall to Kodiaks

The RDC Kings moved one step closer to securing an Alberta Colleges… Continue reading

Scheer won’t say if Conservatives hired consultant to ‘destroy’ People’s party

TORONTO — With election day less than 48 hours away, Andrew Scheer… Continue reading

Man’s death in Richmond, B.C. suspicious, not random, say investigators

RICHMOND, B.C. — The discovery of a man’s body in a Richmond,… Continue reading

Quebec man found guilty of first-degree murder in slaying of ex-wife, stranger

ST-JEROME, Que. — A Quebec man was found guilty of first-degree murder… Continue reading

Most Read