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THR Honors Jodie Foster at Cannes Film Festival (Cannes 2011)

Jodie Foster
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Rob Lowe toasts "The Beaver" actress-director, whom he calls "the greatest American actress, director and friend anyone could ever have," at the vitaminwater-sponsored event.

CANNES -- Riding a high from the enthusiastic reception of her newest film The Beaver at the Cannes Film Festival, Jodie Foster was the guest of honor at an exclusive cocktail party that The Hollywood Reporter threw Wednesday night to recognize her multifaceted career.

CANNES: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster Earn Standing Ovation at 'The Beaver' International Premiere

Rob Lowe, who has known Foster since they starred together in 1984's The Hotel New Hampshire, led the guests in a toast, as he saluted "the greatest American actress, director and friend anyone could ever have."

As the setting sun cast lengthening shadows across the beachside setting at Z Plage vitaminwater, across from the Hotel Martinez, Foster reflected on her remarkable career, saying, "We make movies -- they exist. They walk and they talk. They exist on DVDs. They are a legacy in some ways."

RELATED: Jodie Foster on Mel Gibson: 'I Knew the Minute I Met Him, I Would Love Him' Forever

But, just as important, she continued, are the private moments. She recalled, for example, how she and Lowe had been filming a love scene when a lunch break was called. Instead of joining the cast and crew, the two decided to stay behind, no clothes on, sharing hamburgers on the bed where they had been filming, using the time to chat and nap before work resumed for the day.

"Those are the moments, there are no proof they existed, and yet they live on," she observed.

She also acknowledged the unique experience of having her latest film, which she directed and stars in with Mel Gibson, welcomed in Cannes.

RELATED: Mel Gibson’s 'The Beaver' Declares Everything Is Not Going to Be OK

"Last night, the steps, the red carpet, the applause -- that is something I've never had in my life," she said.

With the festival winding toward its close, THR editorial director Janice Min and publisher Lori Burgess welcomed the guests, who were in a relaxed mood after the back-to-back days of moviegoing and dealmaking. While some opted for a cocktails and canapes, others reached for one of the multicolored bottles of vitaminwater, which co-hosted the gathering.

DJ Mick Boogie spun tunes for the event.

Among those circulating were Fox co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, Miramax CEO Michael Lang, Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Sierra/Affinity CEO Nick Meyer, French actress Princess Clotilde Courau and StudioCanal's Sophie Kopaczynski.

FILM REVIEW: 'The Beaver'

"She's managed to accomplish every thing she ever wanted to -- she should be admired," Bernard said of Foster. "For a woman in this business to act, to direct, to call her own shots -- she's a role model. And we need more woman directors in this business because we can't have a business where only men tell the stories."

Nancy Kirkpatrick, Summit Entertainment's president of worldwide marketing, who'd been in the Palais' Lumiere Theatre where The Beaver earned a sustained, standing ovation the previous night, noted, "It was so nice to see an audience celebrate someone like Jodie. And to see Mel so relaxed and happy was just great."