The Nissan NV200 van has won New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow competition, and when we caught Jodie Foster at the New York City premiere of The Beaver, she was relieved to talk about anything other than the Mel Gibson personal scandals that have tainted the movie’s release. As such, we asked the Taxi Driver co-star about her thoughts on the futuristic cab.
“I think if it gets you from point A to point B, I’m lovin’ it,” she said nonchalantly.
But it’s nothing to poo-poo: Nissan, which nabbed a 10-year contract to provide all the 13,000 yellow cabs in the city, has outfitted this van with reading lights, cell phone plug-in stations and passenger-controlled AC and heat. As an L.A.-based Prius driver, Foster did note her concern with the green factor of the cab.
“And hopefully it’s eco-friendly and has a smaller eco footprint,” she said. “That makes a lot of sense, being as Manhattan’s such a small island. You don’t really need gas guzzlers to get you from one place to the next.”
But then Foster took it a step further, suggesting the obliteration of all personal vehicles from Manhattan.
“I think it would be great,” she said, “if Manhattan was a non-car place and the only cars that were here were cabs and delivery services. Those little rickshaws. Remember they’re called tuk-tuks.”
Perhaps her anti-vehicle sentiment stems from the blasé approach to vehicles she’s developed out in L.A.–a symptom, perhaps, of overexposure.
“I think when you grow up in Los Angeles and drive non-stop,” she said, “you really no longer have identity through vehicle. I don’t have that anymore.”
Amidst the flurry of Gibson questions, though, she was happy to duck out of the premiere early and have bodyguards escort her to the comfort of a Cadillac Escalade with tinted windows. Perhaps she, if momentarily, changed her stance on the benefits of vehicles.