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Jodie Foster Remembers Her Mentor Jonathan Demme, Who Died At 73

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The director Jonathan Demme has died. He was 73 years old. Demme's movies included "Silence Of The Lambs" which received five Oscars, including one for Jodie Foster who gave us her memories of Jonathan Demme.

JODIE FOSTER: The whole point for him of making art and doing things was just to express your own positivity and to hope that somehow you can ignite a fire to make things better instead of worse. And I think that's why he's made so many different kinds of movies, you know, from, you know - the horror genre thriller of our film "The Silence" to, you know, a more personal story like "Philadelphia" to a story about Reconstruction and slaves and then all the documentaries and all the music things and all the just - the goofy, goofy comedies. He's like a 14-year-old boy. You know?

He had this huge grin on his face and all of us, you know, I myself included, but - and not just the actors that he worked with over and over again, but, you know, lots of crewmembers, you know, his prop master who's done a thousand films with him. You know, all of us are completely devoted to Jonathan because it really was this family that he championed. He put a lot of faith in people that - and gave them their breaks and gave him their first starts, especially people that normally would not have had opportunities.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

"Silence Of The Lambs" was a drama, the kind of movie that brought Jonathan Demme fame. Jodie Foster also loved his documentaries.

FOSTER: He would just get fascinated by something and then jump into it and just want to start shooting and then figure out what was in it that made him dance. And there's a realness and a rawness to all of his documentaries, you know. They're not posed - or they don't already know where they're headed before they started. And I think that they have a real sense of his curiosity.

MARTIN: Actress Jodie Foster speaking about her friend film director Jonathan Demme who died yesterday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.