After ‘Nyad,’ Jodie Foster Eyes a New Acting Challenge: Learn a Musical Instrument, Speak Swedish or Become a Javelin Thrower

After ‘Nyad,’ Jodie Foster Eyes a New Acting Challenge: Learn a Musical Instrument, Speak Swedish or Become a Javelin Thrower

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After diving in to play Diana Nyad’s best friend and swim coach in the real-life Netflix sports drama, “Nyad,” Jodie Foster is ready for her next cinematic adventure.

“I really like doing things where I learn stuff,” Foster tells me. “I don’t know how to play any musical instruments. If somebody said to me you get to play a violinist and I get a year to do that, I would love that. Or you know, learn a new language like Swedish. Or maybe a javelin thrower.

“Can I do all three at one time?” she cracked. “Somehow, the distraction of having to learn something new for me just gets me jazzed. It’s like school. I love it.”

Foster stars opposite Annette Bening as the titular role in “Nyad,” based on Nyad’s dream at age 60 to complete a 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida. Both actors have earned Golden Globe nominations for their work in the Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin-directed film.

Foster will next be seen starring in “True Detective” Season 4, premiering Jan. 14 on HBO. She also serves as executive producer.

Bella Ramsey and Jodie Foster at 2023 ELLE Women in Hollywood held at Nya Studios West on December 5, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Buckner for Variety

I caught up with Foster when she was honored earlier this month at Elle magazine’s Women in Hollywood celebration. The two-time Oscar winner asked “The Last of Us” star Bella Ramsey to present her award. The two hadn’t met until the Elle event. “I got a text that said, ‘Jodie Foster would like you to present her with an award,’” Ramsey said. “It was insane.”

Foster addressed Ramsey from the podium. “You are an amazing, exciting talent, so true, so strong, clear in your work on ‘The Last of Us,’” she said. “I, for one, want you to know that I have your back in this industry. I want you to go out there and be you in grace and freedom. Go, go, go. You are a new voice of a new generation of artists, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.”

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