Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jodie Foster claims that starring alongside Shailene Woodley was not just a way to meet Aaron Rodgers

Jodie Foster, Jimmy Kimmel
Jodie Foster, Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

For someone whose been raking in major acting awards since she was 14, you’d think Jodie Foster could just pick up the phone and meet any old football player she wants. After all, she’s Jodie damned Foster, and they’re just some big dudes playing a kids’ game. Still, noted Green Bay Packers fan Foster had to fend off Jimmy Kimmel’s suggestion on his Thursday show that she’d used her considerable clout to cast Shailene Woodley as her co-star in the Kevin Macdonald-directed real-life injustice legal drama The Mauritanian. “I don’t know if that’s a coincidence?,” Forster joked, acknowledging the inescapable fact that Woodley just so happens to be engaged to Foster’s favorite football player, Packers QB MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Of course that’s not the case. Shailene Woodley is a respected and accomplished actress who can pretty much pick her own projects at this point, and, hey, who’s to say that it’s not Woodley who pulled some strings to get to work alongside screen legend Foster, huh? Plus, Foster got all giggly when Kimmel played the clip of Rodgers (who, again, Foster has never met) giving her a shout-out during his NFL Most Valuable Player speech, calling Foster one of his off-the-field team. That, logically, makes Foster a Green Bay Packer, according to Foster, and nobody here’s going to argue. She also said that, should she win the Golden Globe she’s nominated for for playing crusading Guantanamo Bay defense lawyer Nancy Hollander, she’s totally returning the favor for her new teammates. (Foster added Packers wide-out Davante Adams to her thank you list, which is only fair.)

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As for the actual reason why she was on Kimmel’s show, Foster laid out the genuine and ongoing travesty that is the illegal detention of mostly un-charged Muslim men at a “garrison state” black site as her chief motivation for playing Hollander. Essaying the role of the courageous woman who fought for the release of Mohamedou Ould Salahi (a citizen of Mauritania who was held at Guantanamo for 14 years without charge by the U.S. government) was a case of the multiple award-winner choosing yet another kick-ass woman to bring to life for Foster, who noted that she’s become close to not just the real Hollander, but the now-freed author and political prisoner Salahi as well. And while Foster claims the real, tough-as-nails Hollander is actually a bit nicer than the way Foster chose to make her, the biggest surprise was that Salahi (a huge fan of American pop culture) only knew her from her fun yet sort-of second-tier role as card sharp Annabelle Bransford from 1994's long-belated TV adaptation Maverick. “I think he was very confused as to why they’d hire the girl from Maverick,” said Foster of her initial meeting with Salahi. Anabelle was no slouch, of course, although she did have that one fateful poker tell. Look, everybody’s seen Maverick.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.