ジョディ・フォスターが見つめる、格差社会の価値観と日本文化 Jodie Foster on ‘Money Monster’


With two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster (The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs) in the director’s chair and a star-studded cast including George Clooney and Julia Roberts on screen, real-time suspense thriller ‘Money Monster’ is definitely one to watch this year. Foster, who recently came to Japan to promote the movie, sat down with Z TOKYO to talk money, Hollywood and directing.

Q.本作に惹かれた理由は?What drew you to ‘Money Monster’?


It’s a movie of many meaningful layers. The plot is exciting and speedy with huge suspense, yet the characters are also very deep and complex.

What were your reasons for casting George Clooney and Julia Roberts?



I think George is perfect for the movie. The character he plays is someone who you don’t like very much in the beginning – he’s egotistical, he’s unconscientious, he drinks too much, and he doesn’t care about anyone else. He’s lost himself; he’s a lost person. He’s not a journalist anymore. So when he gets taken hostage, he acts pretty cowardly. However as time goes on, you understand that the reason he’s become this way is because he doesn’t have a very high opinion of himself – he feels like a failure. Through the course of the movie he changes and becomes more of a human being, but at first it’s not like that, so I really needed an actor who you could love. An actor you could love even when he starts out in the film in such a bad place.

As for Julia...well what can I say - she’s the amazing Julia Roberts. I can’t think of anyone else better for the role. Even when we cast her I think the character wasn’t deep enough for her level, so we actually went back and reworked the screenplay to make it a much more complicated, much more heroic character for her. There’s nobody like her. I think that she has this incredible calmness and strength, and more importantly she has this very interesting connection and chemistry with George. They’re only together physically in two scenes in the movie – the beginning scene and the end scene. Everything in between, they only experience each other virtually through microphones and cameras. So we needed two actors that have a sort of magic without necessarily being in the same room together.

Q.ジョージのダンス・パフォーマンスが最高でした。あれは彼の発案だと聞きましたが、監督として演出スタイルとして、現場で役者のアドリブをよく取り入れるのでしょうか?George Clooney’s dance scene in the film was hilarious! We heard that that was something that Clooney himself proposed.
As a director, do you often encourage ad lib performances, or do you prefer to stick to the screenplay?



It depends which kind of film. Some films are more about the plot and rely on the script, as they’re very verbal and specifically written in a certain way. This film was a lot like that because there’s a big plot, so there wasn’t a lot of room for improvisation. However, I love it when actors have ideas, and in fact I really count on that – I need that input. I have such respect for actors – it’s a really difficult job. I was so happy that George came up with the dance scene and that he was brave enough to make a fool of himself for the character’s sake. It fit perfectly. George was such a showman who completely embraced his role and that really helped me as a director.

One of the things the film touches on is how money can bring out a person’s true nature.
As somebody who has succeeded both in business and as a filmmaker and director, what are your thoughts on this idea?


I think that in the movie, all of the men are struggling with their own personal value; they don’t feel very worthy as humans. In our culture, money or ‘celebrity’ is often mistakenly viewed as a way to feel meaningful and valuable, and that’s something that is really driven home in ‘Money Monster’. In America - and maybe Japan as well - in a time where it’s difficult to figure out who we are, money is often the first thing that we go to in order to decide whether we are a winner or a loser. However I share the view that the most important thing in my life is not money, but in fact the experiences that I’ve had with people - even though there’s no proof. I don’t have a certificate or a photograph, I haven’t won Oscars for it, but the experiences that I’ve had are without a doubt the most important things to me.

Working in an entertainment business which is very much dictated by ideas of wealth,
how are you able to maintain your integrity in your relationship with money?


I just want to make movies – it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Making movies and expressing myself and being an artist is what grounds me. Because I’ve been a public figure my whole life, I’ve always been interested in being as real as possible, since as a child there was always so much trying to take away from my real life. I think the way you find your integrity is to make compartments. One compartment is work, one compartment is life, and those two things are different.

The film felt like a long-awaited Hollywood blockbuster despite there being not much use of CGI and special effects.
This may come from the fact that you have two huge stars at the centre of it all, but was it a conscious decision to make the film like that?


This movie is the kind of movie that Hollywood isn’t making anymore. Most films that are being distributed by the studios now are franchise films or superhero films – that’s just a financial strategy that they’ve adopted. So it’s rare to get a film like this off the ground. Maybe there won’t be any movies like this from now on. But I still believe that people want to see films that are intelligent, challenging and unique. I don’t really care if they’re on the big screen, an iPhone or cable TV, so I’ll continue to make the movies that I make and hopefully there will be a place for them somewhere.

Q.そういった考え方は、テレビドラマ「ハウス・オブ・カード 野望の階段」(14)の監督経験も生かされていますか?Having directed television series such as ‘House of Cards’, do you think that it has helped you as a filmmaker?


Television is where narrative filmmaking is now – when we talk about compelling characters, innovative stories and taking risks, that’s really happening on cable. So of course I really wanted to be a part of that. It’s a whole different job directing TV compared to directing feature films – I’m there to serve the writer. But I like that job as well.

Congratulations on finally receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As you move on to new projects,
what kind of balance are you aiming for when it comes to acting and directing?


I’d really like to focus on directing right now, because I’ve only directed four movies since I was 27, which isn’t a lot. Of course I’ve had a big acting career, raised two children, and I also ran a company for twelve years so I’ve accomplished a lot in that amount of time. But directing requires complete commitment – you have to be ready at any moment to go when the film is ready. So I really need to focus on that right now. That being said, I hope that a film as an actress pops up somewhere along the road. There’s nothing like performing, and I can’t imagine stopping after fifty years of being an actor.

Q.「ZTOKYO」は日本のカルチャーを世界に向けて発信しているメディアですが、今回8年ぶりの来日ということで、次の監督作のテーマにもなりそうな興味のある日本カルチャーは何かありますか?It’s been eight years since you were last in Tokyo. Is there anything in Japanese culture that may inspire you and make its way into a film that you would direct?

I love Japan! 私は母の影響もあって、小さい頃から日本のカルチャーに興味を持っていました。私の姉が寿司屋の大将と付き合っていたこともあるし、日本食をはじめとても日本のカルチャーには興味があるので、日本に来る度にこのカルチャーを何らかの形で映画にできないかなと、実は考えています。

I love Japan - there are so many things about Japanese culture that I love so much. I actually grew up surrounded by a lot of it since my mum was very interested in Japan. My sister even dated a sushi chef! It’s always been a big part of my life. Coming here always makes me think about how I could make a movie that would do justice to Japanese culture.

ジョディ・フォスター Jodie Foster

ジョディ・フォスターJodie Foster


Born 19th November 1962, Jodie Foster is an American director, actress and businesswoman. She made her big screen debut at age ten in ‘Napoleon and Samantha’, and went on to star in all-time classics such as ‘Taxi Driver’, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award aged just thirteen. She took a break from acting at the peak of her popularity to attend Yale, where she graduated with honors. She has appeared in many award-winning films including ‘The Accused’ and ‘The Silence of the Lambs’. Foster went on to direct, debuting with ‘Little Man Tate’ in 1991. She is currently promoting her 2016 feature film ‘Money Monster’.



ソニー・ピクチャーズ エンタテインメント


‘Money Monster’

Showing in cinemas throughout Japan from 10th June.

Jodie Foster
George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West,
Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito.
Sony Pictures Entertainment