updated 03/17/2011 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/17/2011 AT 9:05 AM ET
Jodie Foster, who has stood by Mel Gibson throughout the very public trials of his private life, hopes audiences reconnect with the actor in his next film – which she directed and also stars in.
“At this particular place, the most beautiful part of Mel, I think, is onscreen,” Foster, 48, told PEOPLE at Wednesday’s premiere of The Beaver at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. “People will see the movie, and they’ll see what an incredibly deep and committed performance he gives, and hopefully they’ll have some insight into who Mel is as a human being.”
Films may be fiction, Foster says, but they can reveal truths about the actors who work on them.