Foster, 61, has been reflecting on her career in several interviews over the past month and, having revealed that both Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese were ”scared” of her on the set of Taxi Driver, she has now corroborated a long-standing rumour about her near-miss with the Star Wars franchise.
Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday (17 June), Foster was asked: “You’ve been in so many iconic roles, and we love what you do, but I saw this on the internet – you were offered the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars. Is that true?”
Without missing a beat, Foster confirmed: “I was, yeah. They were going for a younger Princess Leia but I had a conflict. I was doing a Disney movie and I just didn’t want to pull out of the Disney movie because I was already under contract.”
While Foster did not name the Disney movie she was contracted to star in, her list of credits appears to reveal this film was Freaky Friday, which Foster starred in one year before the release of Star Wars.
If Foster had appeared in Star Wars, it would have changed the face of not only the actor’s career, but also the history of the long-running franchise. Producers ultimately discarded the idea of a younger Leia, casting Carrie Fisher in the role. She was 19 at the time.
Foster said Fisher “did an amazing job”, and revealed how her Leia, aside from the character’s age, would have differed from the Leia that Star Wars fans know and love today.
“I don’t know how good I would have been – I might have had different hair,” Foster said, adding; “I might have gone with a pineapple.”
Former child star Foster went on to win two Oscars, for The Accused (1988) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Her first nomination was for Taxi Driver, a film she reflected on earlier this month.
At the time, she had been on more film sets than Scorsese and De Niro, despite being significantly younger than them – and she revealed that her older colleagues were intimidated by her.
The actor currently stars in True Detective: Night Country alongside Kali Reis. She also recently appeared alongside Annette Bening in the Netflix film Nyad, our review of which you can read here.