Jodie Foster has praised close friend and 'The Beaver' co-star for being a ''brilliant'' man.
The 48-year-old actress - who directed the Oscar-winning star in new movie 'The Beaver' - explained Mel has been a "loyal friend" ever since the duo bonded over their desire to work with a "no bullsh*t" attitude on 'Maverick' in 1994.
She told AARP The Magazine: "From the moment I met him, there was such a connection that I knew we would be friends for the rest of my life. We work in exactly the same way, no bullsh*t. We've had so many conversations about the topics the film explores.
"He is a brilliant man, a beautiful talent, and a loyal, loyal friend. That's the man I know."
Jodie recently admitted she didn't want Mel - who pleaded guilty to a charge of battery relating to his ex-girlfriend OKSANA GRIGORIEVA earlier this month - to do any promotional work for 'The Beaver' because she was afraid people wouldn't want to see a movie with him in it.
She said: "I'm not sure if I even want him to do any publicity. I certainly don't want him to do anything he doesn't want to.
"I know it's going to be tough to get past everything that's happened this year and have people thinking, 'Maybe it should be released at another time.' I just don't want the great talent Mel displays in this film to be lost. You won't forget it."