Jodie Foster's latest flick, The Beaver, has been one of the most talked-about movies in Hollywood since before it even began shooting. But it isn't the film's subject matter, or its trouble getting off the ground, that has people's attention. It's Foster's unyielding support of her costar Mel Gibson.

And with casts like the one from The Hangover Part II making sure to distance themselves from the veteran actor following his made-public meltdowns, many have wondered why Foster was so adamant about sticking by her pal. Now she's opening up and revealing how the Mel she's familiar with isn't the same guy the public thinks it knows.

"[The] Mel that I know, the man that I know, that I've known for a very long time as a friend, is an incredibly deep thinker," Foster told E! News. "He's somebody who's thoughtful and loyal and thinks about struggle and that's somebody who understands struggle in a very personal way."

Foster goes on to paint a picture of a man who's more than a movie star: "Surely people misunderstand when they don't know him at all. I mean, they don't know him at all, and why would you know a complete stranger? You don't. I mean, the only way that people know him is his beautiful work and what he brings to his work, and they know him by his professional reputation which is stellar."

The two Academy Award winners first starred together in 1994's Maverick, and this isn't the first time she's stuck by her pal's side. She famously supported Gibson back in 2006 in the wake of the scandal following his reported use of anti-Semitic slurs during a drunken driving arrest. And once again, despite Gibson's seeming pariah status thanks to leaked phone conversations between him and his ex Oksana Grigorieva, Foster states that what the public has seen and heard isn't Gibson's true self.

"They [the public] know him by private conversations being taped and broadcast on the Internet," she says. "I know the man I know. I've known him for a very long time, and we've had a lot of conversations about his life, about you know, my life, about work. He's a deep and complex man, that is true. But he's an incredible friend, an incredibly sensitive and, you know, interesting, interesting man."

Guess we'll have to take her word for it.

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