Jodie Foster: Gen Z can be ‘really annoying’ to work with

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By Charlotte Gallagher
Culture correspondent

The Oscar-winning actor Jodie Foster has said Generation Z can be “really annoying” to work with.

In an interview with the Guardian, Foster said she had sometimes found the attitudes to work she had encountered difficult to understand.

“They’re like, ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30am.'”

But she did praise one Gen Z star, Bella Ramsey, calling the 20-year-old an example of an actor emerging in a new “vector of authenticity”.

Foster, who was a child star herself before going on to a glittering screen career, said she felt compelled to help young actors find their path “because it was hard growing up”.

‘Kind of limiting’

Speaking about Gen Z – a term generally used to describe those born during the late 1990s and early 2000s – Foster, 61, joked: “They’re really annoying – especially in the workplace.

“They’re like: ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30am.’

“Or, like, in emails, I’ll tell them this is all grammatically incorrect, did you not check your spelling?

“And they’re like, ‘Why would I do that, isn’t that kind of limiting?'”

Speaking about the advice she’d give to young people in the industry, she said: “They need to learn how to relax, how to not think about it so much, how to come up with something that’s theirs.

“I can help them find that, which is so much more fun than being, with all the pressure behind it, the protagonist of the story.”

Jodie Foster said Bella Ramsey was an example of an actor emerging in a new “vector of authenticity”

Foster singled out British actor Ramsey for praise, recalling how she first met The Last of Us and Game of Thrones star at Elle’s Women in Hollywood celebration.

Foster described it as a “wonderful event” but noted that all of the attendees were “wearing heels and eyelashes”.

“There are other ways of being a woman, and it’s really important for people to see that. And Bella, who gave the best speech, was wearing the most perfect suit, beautifully tailored, and a middle parting and no makeup.”

Foster added that when she was young she would not have been able to dress like Ramsey in a suit and no make-up at a showbiz event.

“Because we weren’t free. Because we didn’t have freedom. And hopefully that’s what the vector of authenticity that’s happening offers – the possibility of real freedom,” she added.

Foster, who is tipped for another Oscar nomination for her role in Nyad, also spoke about her two sons and their attitude towards women.

She explained that while they are now “super feminist”, at one stage her older son believed he needed to be unpleasant to women to be a boy.

The actor added: “And I was like, no! That’s not what it is to be a man! That’s what our culture has been selling you for all this time.”