Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson

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Jodie Foster is defending Mel Gibson again, even though he hasn't made controversial headlines.

In a new interview with the New York Times, Foster opens up about her passion for directing and the stars she has worked with before and currently. Set to release Money Monster, the story of a campy financial TV host who gets taken hostage while on air, Foster defends her friendship with Gibson upon hearing the kind words he has to say about her and her incredible talent as an actress and director.

"The way she directs films, the way she does anything—it's just very smart. She attacks it and deals with it and delivers," Gibson tells the NYT. "I just love her, that's all. You meet people like that sometimes. You just instantly fall in love, and that's it, and it's the purest kind of thing. We call each other up all the time and just say, 'Hey, I love you.'"

The two became BFFs after filming Mavericks together more than 20 years ago. Even though some might be confused by how close they've remained over the years given his anti-Semitic rants and the abusive diatribe against his ex that have landed him in boiling hot water, Foster has always stayed true to her pal.

Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster

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"It's not my job to adjudicate his behavior," she tells the Times. "He's certainly not sexist and certainly not racist. I know the guy I know, somebody who's really emotional, who I can have long, long conversations with, who's trustworthy, who shows up for me."

This is hardly the first time the Panic Room star has defended her longtime friend. When she and Gibson worked on The Beaver together in 2011, she slammed the rumors that it was simply a comeback project for the fallen star.

"He's not a perfect person," she said at the time. "He's a complicated person. That's why I love him. He's not just some guy who wants to pose for GQ. He's lived a real life. I'm forever grateful for this performance, and I can't imagine anyone else bringing this much to it."

Soon after Gibson was arrested in the summer of 2006 for drunken driving—and ultimately went on an anti-Semitic tirade—Foster defended him to USA Today. "Is he an anti-Semite? Absolutely not," Foster told the newspaper. "But it's no secret that he has always fought a terrible battle with alcoholism."

She had witnessed him fall off the wagon before the 2006 scandal, but he had recovered, which is why she felt he could again. "[Gibson] was a shining example of how low you can go when you are young and still pull yourself up," she said. "He took his recovery very seriously, which is why I know he is strong enough to get through this now."

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