TOKYO - Oscar-winning US actress Jodie Foster , a former child star, said Monday that being in her 40s was just as exciting as her teenage years. "People say 40 is the new 18," the 45-year-old actress said in Tokyo, where she is promoting her latest movie, "Nim's Island." "I think what's exciting about being a woman and being 40 is that very often you have a kind of confidence that took all those years to get," she said. "But you're still young enough to be excited and to be vital about the future without having to worry about your identity " 'Am I a mother?, am I smart enough?, am I strong enough?'" said Foster , a mother of two. Foster as a child acted in television series before transitioning into adult roles. She won Oscars for best actress for her roles as a rape victim in "The Accused" and in the thriller "The Silence of the Lambs." In "Nim's Island," Foster plays an adventure writer who herself remains a big-city recluse until she comes into contact with a little girl on an island with a vivid imagination of her own. Foster said she wanted to make "a film about strong women." "When I was a little girl there weren't very many movies about women who were adventurers," she said. "I wanted to make a movie about the adventurousness of the human spirit and not just the male spirit."