Jodie Foster became the first woman to direct for Netflix’s Emmy-winning sci-fi anthology series “Black Mirror” when creator Charlie Brooker hired her to helm the fourth season episode “Arkangel.”
The story takes its title from a technology that allows parents to not only track their children’s whereabouts but also see what they’re seeing and even filter it. It’s a meditation on mother-daughter relationships, Foster told The Times in a recent video interview, as well as an exploration of the comfort people have in their own skins.
“You think in the beginning it’s from the mom’s perspective, and then things shift and you realize it’s from equal perspectives because, in fact, they’re kind of the same person,” Foster says. “Your child is inside you, and that baby is the same person as you are.”
Like all the “Black Mirror” episodes, the technology seen in “Arkangel” isn’t blamed for the choices the characters make. And like all “Black Mirror” episodes, the sci-fi circumstances do not seem that far removed from reality.
“I believe Charlie Brooker might have a psychic little chip in him or something,” Foster says, “because he keeps imagining something that ends up happening.”
Foster had a famously close relationship with her own mother. who accompanied her around the country when she was a young actress making Disney movies such as “Freaky Friday.” Much of their downtime during her childhood, Foster says, involved going to the movies several times a week.
“There’s a part of me that realizes, when I think back on her life, I think, ‘Boy she must have been kind of depressed,’” Foster says, “because that was a lot of time in the movie theater seeing films over and over again, where I’m sure she just wanted to be in the dark not having to think about how she was going to come up with the money to pay for things. There’s a lot of depression there.”
Foster also shared her desire to direct another “Black Mirror” as well as her thoughts on the TV show she’d most like to have appeared on — provided James Gandolfini wasn’t available. You can watch the entire conversation below.