(CBS News) Jodie Foster has come to the defense of Kristen Stewart, slamming the media frenzy surrounding the young star since she admitted to cheating on boyfriend Robert Pattinson.
Foster, who co-starred with a then-11-year-old Stewart in the 2002 film "Panic Room," penned an essay for The Daily Beast in which she blasted the "gladiator sport of celebrity culture" and questioned whether she could have survived the constant public scrutiny and criticism young stars face today.
"I've said it before and I will say it again: if I were a young actor today I would quit before I started," Foster wrote. "If I had to grow up in this media culture, I don't think I could survive it emotionally."
"In my era, through discipline and force of will, you could still manage to reach for a star-powered career and have the authenticity of a private life," the former child star noted, but said that's no longer the case. She wondered, "If I were a young actor or actress starting my career today in the new era of social media and its sanctioned hunting season, would I survive? Would I drown myself in drugs, sex, and parties? Would I be lost?"
Foster recalled the five months she spent working with Stewart on "Panic Room" in 2001, telling readers, "I grew to love that kid."
She wrote, "I was pregnant at the time and found myself daydreaming of the child I might have soon. Would she be just like Kristen? All that beautiful talent and fearlessness ... would she jump and dunk and make me so proud?"
But now, Foster continued, "A beautiful young woman strides down the sidewalk alone, head down, hands drawn into fists. She's walking fast, darting around huge men with black cameras thrusting at her mouth and chest. 'Kristen, how do you feel?' 'Smile Kris!' 'Hey, hey, did you get her?' 'I got her. I got her!' The young woman doesn't cry. [Expletive] no. She doesn't look up. She's learned."
The Oscar-winner ended her piece by offering Stewart some advice.
"Eventually this all passes," Foster said. "The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And, yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. You trust less. You calculate your steps. You survive. Hopefully in the process you don't lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and - finally - the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don't let them take that away from you."