Jodie Foster Talks Best Director Emmy NomBy: Kelly Weidman - July 12, 2014
Jodie Foster has received a Best Director Emmy nomination for her work on the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black. Foster directed the third episode of the show’s first season, entitled “Lesbian Request Denied” that focused on the backstory of Laverne Cox’s character Sophia Burset.
“As a director, dramedy is what I do. It’s not who I am as an actor. The genre requires a very specific skill in terms of recognizing what is quirky and perverse, and to be moved by it. The female prisoners on Orange Is The New Black have a very spiritual journey that’s so complex. They’re all soul-searching and they change through each other” said Foster of her experience on OITNB.
Foster has been steadily building her television expertise, this being her second Emmy nomination after being nominated for the 1999 Showtime film The Baby Dance, which she executive produced. She returned to OITNB to direct the season two episode “Thirsty Bird,” and also recently took a turn as director for another popular Netflix series, House of Cards.
“I’m not one for lounging around and having long soliloquies about a character” said Foster when addressing the drastic differences between the preparation process for film versus television. “TV is the biggest team effort and the pace happens so fast.”
To remedy this, Foster met with actors before shooting “Lesbian Request Denied” to delve into their characters, lending her unique perspective of being both an actor and director. “I am an actor’s director, the first of whom signed with Orange. A lot of the actresses on the show are fresh out of Juilliard.”
“Lesbian Request Denied” is one of the most notable episodes of season one, as it addresses in detail the transition process of Sophia, a transgendered woman in prison for credit card fraud. “It’s all about the journey of Laverne’s character and it’s the beginning of the audience really understanding what Orange Is The New Black is really about,” said Foster of the episode. “It’s about identity and struggle.”
Foster’s direction clearly jives with the cast as her nomination is one of many among the OITNB actors, most notably Laverne Cox’s history-making nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series as Cox is the first openly transgendered actor to be nominated for an Emmy.
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