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HOW DID YOU MAKE THE PUPPET SO EXPRESSIVE?
It's funny how that happens. That is the crazy projection of the audience. There might be some lighting in there — at times, we lighted him more like a person than as a flat surface — but we didn't do any funny stuff with the eyes or change the puppet or anything like that.

ON WHAT CRITERIA DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR DIRECTORIAL PROJECTS? WHY ARE THEY SO INFREQUENT?
I'm a script person. I love language and words. I make personal movies — that's part of my signature — and I have to get the script right. It takes a long time to really download your personal passions — what you believe in and what you've lived — on the page before you start shooting, as opposed to trying to run to make it happen after you start shooting.

Now that I have three films — and that's a pattern — I think I make films about spiritual crises and how you find yourself on the other side of it. That seems to be what fascinates me. I felt like the screenplay [of The Beaver] was such a beautiful fable.

I don't know what my next project will be. It'll probably be a spiritual-crisis movie. Maybe it'll be about Martians. Chances are, it'll be some topic I'm obsessing about in my own life, that I'll bore somebody at a party about for an hour. I focus on something that obsesses me, and then I squeeze it for everything it's worth, and I have nothing to say about it ever again.

WHO'S THE NEXT JODIE FOSTER?
I don't even know who I am, let alone the next me. I have no idea. There are a lot of really interesting young actresses that have a lot of different challenges in 2011 than I did in 1969. I think there's a lot of pressure to create stars early that are 18, 19, 20 years old and to squeeze out the next best thing. We didn't have that then, because young actors couldn't open a movie, so they weren't of any financial interest to anyone. We were able to craft our careers little by little.

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Related: In Bridesmaids, Kristen's women act like women, Review: The Beaver, Review: Carnage, More more >
  Topics: Features , Movies, Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson,  More more >
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