(CBS) After a lifetime in the movie business, Jodie Foster is still on a quest to find out who she is. She says even motherhood has not helped her come to a complete sense of peace with her identity.
Foster told Parade Magazine, "I'm still not sure where I'm going in my life. There are times when I don't really know what I am here for. When I had my kids I was burnt out on the film business again and wondering if the new identity as a parent was going to be fulfilling enough. I was forced to ask these really hard questions about myself: Is being a mother everything? Are you supposed to lose yourself in the process of being a mother?"
Raised by a single mother, Foster says, "A parent's love for her children is unconditional. I don't think the reverse is true. In some ways, my mother's life was given meaning through me. She didn't have my opportunities. I had to take care of her, and that pretty much meant I had to wake up and go to work."
Foster, who is a single parent herself, has two boys, 9-year-old Charles Bernard Foster and 6-year-old Kit Bernard Foster. She has never been married and will not give information on the identity of the father of her children.
She does put in great effort to keep her kids from feeling the burden of her fame. "I don't think there is anything good about fame. In this business, in order to care for yourself and the people you love, you have to separate your professional life from your personal life," she says.
The actress, 45, who is best known for her role as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, has been an actress since age 3 when she first appeared as the Coppertone girl in a TV commercial.
Her first Oscar nomination came at age 14 for portraying an underage prostitute in Taxi Driver. "Being a child prodigy is lonely," she says. "I was one of them. You're different from other kids. No one else can understand. There's a longing to connect, a craving to say, 'Here is the deepest part of me, the part that people don't see.'"
Foster says her whole life has been about this need. "When I look back at my life, I think is has been about the search for meaning and connection."
A member of Mensa, Foster has a B.A. in literature from Yale University. She attended a French-speaking high school and is still fluent in the language. Before she began her collegiate career she had appeared in almost 50 films and television shows.
During her career Foster has been nominated for four Academy Awards and won two. Her latest film, "Nim's Island," a family comedy-adventure about a reclusive writer and a little girl who befriends her, also stars Abigail Breslin and opens on April 4.
By Abigail Albair
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