Home Movies Jodie Foster Didn’t Like Being Directed by Dennis Hopper

We learned a lot about Jodie Foster last night at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s screening of “The Beaver.” She didn’t like being directed by the late Dennis Hopper, for one. Indeed, “Catchfire,” (1990) which Hopper directed Foster in the year before “The Silence of the Lambs” earned her an Oscar, was so bad that Hopper took his name off the final cut. He used “Alan Smithee” instead, the pseudonym directors use when they want to hide their bad or changed work. “Catchfire” runs 3 hours long in its origignal version, is also known on video as “Backtrack.” and was, naturally, a huge flop now forgotten.

During the Q&A with Richard Pena following the screening of “The Beaver,” Foster let it slip about this experience. “I worked with an actor-director who was a major pain,” Foster said. “It was very difficult for me. Very difficult.” At a dinner following the screening at The Atlantic restaurant on West 65th St., Foster confirmed the director was Hopper after our table mate, Scott Foundas of Film Comment, did a quick check on the IMDB. Other guests at the dinner included Foster’s “Lambs” director Jonathan Demme and famed writer-director Robert Benton, as well as Regis and Joy Philbin, Stone Phillips, and Gayle King.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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