Jodie Foster believes the relationship between a mother and son is partly romantic.

The 55-year-old actress is mother to two boys - 19-year-old Charlie and 16-year-old Kit - and believes mothers can feel for their sons the same kind of love they feel for a partner.

Jodie told The Talks: ''I would say that one of the aspects of a mother and son relationship that is so interesting to me is how romantic it is.''

Asked to explain further she referred to the first film she directed, 1991's 'Little Man Tate', about a single mother whose son is revealed to be a genius.

Jodie said: ''There is something about raising somebody who will become one of the most powerful people in the universe. That's what I thought 'Little Man Tate' was about: raising a herald for the next generation, a prodigy, somebody who is the new messenger for the next generation. And when you raise a prodigy you are raising the man who was born of your female pain and your separation of yourself. He is an outcrop of that, you know? You're raising them from infancy, and that awe in front of this child that you are raising in their different-ness, and how different they are ... It articulates itself through a certain kind of romanticism, and a kind of love that feels like partner love. And that's a weird thing to say - except in these types of movies you see where that comes out.''

The 'Elysium' star also opened up about her relationship with her mother, Evelyn Brandy, who is now living with dementia.

Jodie revealed: ''Lately, I've really understood in a really personal way how fear is the core emotion that creates every choice for us. My mom has dementia and to watch as she shed part of her socialisation ... What we got back down to was this core of fear. Everything was about fear - to see how much fear is essential in who we are as animals is amazing.

''I grew up in a single parent home house so my mom is a huge part of my life, the most significant relationship in my life that will ever be. She is my work life, and that whole process from birth until the time that you say goodbye, I really understand from both sides, from a daughter's side and also from having two children.''