Jodie Foster admits she has no idea whether her film "The Beaver" will suffer in the box office due to Mel Gibson's troubled personal life, but says her star is "a beautiful man."
The actor made headlines over the past year due to an ugly custody battle with his girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva over their baby daughter, but Foster hopes that moviegoers can look past the 'public airings' of his private life.
"I have no idea how people will feel coming into it or if they can really put aside what they know of the public airings of a man's private life," Foster told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I don't know if they can, that's a good question for you, can you see a movie and put that aside and really just be able to enjoy the experience of seeing this film."
Foster and Gibson have been close friends since they starred in the 1994 film "Maverick" and the actress has stood by her friend several times through the years, even after his 2006 DUI tirade in which he hurled anti-Semitic and sexist comments at the arresting police officers.
"There are the two Mels that I know, there's the actor I've worked with who is one of the most beloved actors in the film business," Foster said. "Everyone loves working with him, he is undoubtedly talented and then there's the man that I know very well, I've known him for a long time. He's trustworthy and an incredibly loyal friend and delicate and sensitive and just a beautiful man. So it's not difficult at all to say 'this is the man I know.'"
Foster directed and starred in the tragicomedy which shows Mel Gibson as a depressed man who uses a beaver puppet to communicate.
"I got very lucky with the cast because they respond to a beautiful script and that's how it works," Foster said. "You have a beautiful script and actors want to do it. And each one of them brought something different to the process and I always think that each of those characters is a different side of me."
It was announced on Wednesday that Grigorieva has dropped the domestic violence claim she had submitted against Gibson last year as part of their custody battle.
On March 11, Gibson pled no contest to charges of misdemeanor battery against Grigorieva. As part of his sentence for pleading no contest to misdemeanor battery, Gibson was also ordered to perform community service, complete a domestic violence program and undergo continued mental health counseling and pay a $400 fine. If he violates his probation, Gibson could face up to a year in prison.
Grigorieva and Gibson are believed to have broken up around April 2010 after being linked together for about a year. Several months after their confrontation, the two made headlines due to leaked recordings of subsequent telephone conversations said to have taken place between the two, which referenced the incident and included racist and explicit rants reportedly made by Gibson.
Foster rose to fame in her 1973 film "Taxi Driver," where she played a teenage prostitute. She has also starred in "The Silence of the Lambs," "Contact" and "Panic Room."
Foster has also directed several films including "Little Man Tate," "Home for the Holidays" and "The Beaver." She also has two directorial projects in development, "Cockeyed" and "Flora Plum." She recently admit that it's very hard for female directors and that her acting fame has allowed her unique opportunities.
"The Beaver" first aired at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March and is set for a limited release on May 6, 2011.