In a recent episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, the renowned talk show host welcomed the talented Jodie Foster as his guest. The transcript of their conversation reveals a lively and interesting discussion about Jodie’s career and upcoming role in the film Taxi Driver.

Carson commended Foster on her versatility as an actress, noting that she often takes on roles that one wouldn’t typically associate with young girls. He highlighted her portrayal of a 13-year-old prostitute in Taxi Driver and a murderous girl in Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. Foster’s ability to convincingly portray these complex characters is a testament to her exceptional acting skills.

Throughout the interview, Carson praised Foster’s talent, stating that she is an incredibly believable and accomplished actress. However, Foster humbly accepted these compliments, admitting that she sometimes feels embarrassed when people praise her. She revealed that she particularly appreciates compliments from her teachers, as it often translates to good grades.

Being a teenage actress, Foster also talked about the balance between school and work. She explained that she has to spend a certain number of hours on set while still keeping up with her studies. Foster shared that she typically has three hours of school and four hours of work in a nine-hour day. This arrangement allows her to receive an education while pursuing her acting career.

Carson wondered if Foster enjoys school and schoolwork, to which she responded positively. She expressed her liking for school, dispelling the notion that child actors miss out on a “normal” upbringing due to their involvement in the entertainment industry. Foster mentioned that she doesn’t experience common adolescent problems like worrying about pimples or whether boys like her. She believes that being surrounded by the world of acting from such a young age has become her normal.

During the conversation, Foster hinted at the possible reason why boys might not show much interest in her. She suggested that they might be somewhat in awe of her accomplishments and feel awkward around her rather than genuinely disliking her. Foster shared that she doesn’t have a steady boyfriend at the moment but is content with her current status as a teenager.

Carson also delved into Foster’s early career, mentioning that she appeared in commercials as early as age three. Foster acknowledged that her introduction to showbiz at such a young age has shaped her perception of what is considered normal. She views her upbringing as different rather than adult-like and believes that it has shielded her from some of the challenges other teenagers face.

The interview took an intriguing turn when Carson asked Foster about her experience playing a child prostitute in Taxi Driver. Foster expressed her trust in director Martin Scorsese, whom she considers the best in the world. Although initially taken aback by the unconventional role, Foster believed in the script and deems it one of the best ever written. She shared that she didn’t study or prepare extensively for the part but rather trusted her instincts and had a great time on set.

Carson acknowledged Foster’s outstanding performance in Taxi Driver, praising her ability to portray the character as a real person rather than a stereotypical depiction. Foster’s portrayal of a runaway and the complexity she brought to the role impressed both Carson and audiences alike.

The conversation between Carson and Foster on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson provided a captivating insight into Foster’s career and upcoming projects. The talented actress showcased her humility and passion for her craft as she discussed her experiences and the challenges of balancing school and work. As Foster continues to flourish in Hollywood, it is evident that her talent and dedication will continue to make waves in the entertainment industry.

Originally aired on March 15, 1978