In the latest episode of our ‘On the Line’ podcast, we chatted with writer-director Drew Pearce about his debut feature ‘Hotel Artemis.’

The gripping thriller sees Jodie Foster play the Nurse of a future LA-set members-only, emergency room for criminals with Dave Bautista playing her ever-loyal assistant, Everest.

Pearce, who has previously penned big blockbusters such as ‘Iron Man 3’ and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, told us about how Foster came on board the film.

“Jodie, by her own admission, was semi-retired as an actor,” he said. “She’d done one movie, as an actor [having now turned to directing], in nine, ten years, and I didn’t even know we’d have access to her.

“We were very fortunate because just before we sent the script out to people, somehow, Jodie got her hands on it – and she won’t tell me how. She called us and asked if we’d take a meeting about it and obviously I said yes.

“After a few hours, she was very gracious and she said, ‘Look, I know you haven’t sent it around and no one else has seen it. Go talk to other people, but please know that I am here if you want me.’ I left the meeting and hopped in my car and gave it maybe 30 seconds before I called my producer and said ‘We have to ask Jodie Foster to do the film.’

“I got very lucky to have Jodie on board and I think that then worked as a stamp of approval to other actors in the film. You know, I’m a first-time feature director and sometimes it’s tough to convince an actor to take the risk of being in your movie, and I think Jodie’s presence definitely probably persuaded some people that ‘well if Jodie Foster’s going to trust him, and she’s been acting for 52 years, then maybe I’m going to be safe as well.’”

Pearce also chats to us about how the film has been compared to ‘John Wick’, how it works as a reimagining of ‘Casablanca’, and whether sequels to ‘Hotel Artemis’ could be in the pipeline.

You can also check out our other ‘On the Line’ podcasts with Clive Owen, Bill Burr, ‘The Room’ star Greg Sestero and more.