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?"
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 commerical.
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