Flightplan (2005) Interview with Jodie Foster

For a thriller like this, there is no one better than Jodie Foster. She is someone who engenders empathy, who you really care about
–Brian Grazer, producer

Jodie is utterly fearless. She is able to take her character to emotionally uncomfortable places. She is totally committed to the role and every one of her choices reflects that. If something is truthful for the character, she will do it even if that make her appear less likeable or out of control. She has the amazing ability to repeat the same line 15 times, making every take sound different, and as though she is saying it for the first time. I felt very, very lucky.
–Robert Schwentke, director

Affinity for the Role

As a mother of two, I felt a strong affinity for Flightplan from the minute I heard about the story from producer Brian Grazer. What really moved me about “Flightplan” was the idea of a woman who has lost her child, and yet suddenly is forced to question her sanity, because there’s so much grief inside her that that she has to wonder if she’s going insane.

Male into Female Role

The original screenplay had a male protagonist, which was changed into a female. The script works better with a female lead. In the movie, there’s a moment when my character doubts her insanity. It’s the kind of doubt that I don’t think any man would ever have. There’s this symbiotic bond in women’s relationships with their children. Women are their children.

Film’s Ambiance

My character Kyle is in this strange sort of international world of an airplane where people are naturally suspicious of one another, so the situation has tremendous tension and pressure to it

Confined Setting

I have always like the idea of stories that unfold inside confined spaces (Foster’s previous film was Panic Room, confined to one setting, as well). I like the intensity and how the story always winds up being about how people cope with one another and change inside that space.

Personal Journey

This movie is a thriller but it’s also a personal journey, a glimpse ay how one woman reacts under the greatest sort of stress and panic, how she pulls herself back from the abyss of grief and gets herself together. I think that Kyle isn’t really so much heroic as she is absolutely driven. She might sometimes be brash, sometimes irrational, other times manipulative. Bust she will do anything she can to find her daughter.

Director Schwentke

I though “Tattoo” was an extraordinary film. I was very interested to work with him. He’s smart, interesting, and had a very, very strong vision for “Flightplan.”

Jodie Foster’s Oscar Record

Foster is one of the few actresses to have won two Best Actress Oscars, and to have done that within three years. Her first Oscar was in 1988, for “The Accused,” in which she played a rape survivor in a story inspired by a real-life event. Her second Best Actress was for “Silence of the Lambs,” in 1991, which swept most of the awards, including Best Picture, Director (Jonathan Demme), Actor (Anthony Hopkins) and Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally).

Additionally, Foster was nominated for a Supporting Oscar in Scorsese’s masterpiece, “Taxi Driver” (1976), in which she played a teenage prostitute, and as Best Actress in Michael Apted’s “Nell” (1994), for which she won the Screen Actor Guild Award.