WEIRDLAND: Natalie Portman: a woman on-screen & in life

Monday, October 19, 2009

Natalie Portman: a woman on-screen & in life

"Don Roos' drama "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" which showed at the Toronto International Film Festival, will follow, and on Dec. 4, she will be seen opposite Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal in Jim Sheridan's "Brothers".Last spring, she filmed the indie "Hesher" which she also produced, then spent the summer in Belfast on her first comedy, the royal fantasy "Your Highness", before returning to New York for four months of filming Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan".
"Just as what you are feeling in your life affects your acting, what you act in definitely affects what you are feeling in your life", she says with typical thoughtfulness."And whether you want it to or not, and even if you don't know it, it bleeds into your life. I made 'Heat' when I was 14 and played a girl who died," she continues. "A year later, I got into a fight with my mother and cut myself. I had never done it before and I never did it after that, but I think having my wrists bloody in a movie definitely affected my psyche.""At this point", says Portman of the parts that appeal to her, "I want to be a woman on-screen because I want to be a woman in my life. I don't want to be a little girl."
Adds Sheridan, "I thought she was a revelation in 'Closer' " a movie that earned Portman an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe. "But she's been the Lolita and the sexy ingénue. Now she's grown up, and it's understandable she wants to harness that."
Casting her as a mother required little faith on the director's part, who says, "She's a very strong person, and it's immediately apparent. The weirdest thing is if you'd look at her, you'd think she was a technical actor, but she's absolutely emotional. The only help I gave her were technical things like, 'Your eyes should be up higher.' There aren't many people in the world like Meryl Streep who can truly inhabit different people, but she can. I think there's a lot going on with Natalie we haven't seen.""There are certain things you can have different opinions on, but then other things, like torturing animals, [are] just wrong," she says. She's discussing how to raise international awareness for the importance of girls' education with FINCA, a nonprofit microfinance organization for which she has volunteered for six years."Working with Mira in New York, I was so thrilled to watch a female director, and you couldn't ask for a better model than her," she says. "For me, directing isn't a backup plan, because I really love it. At the end of the day, it is your product, which you don't get when you're acting. Even good performances are pieced together by good directors. You give plenty of bad takes, and they put it together in the editing room."As for when she might take on that particular challenge, "I don't love saying I'm going to do something before I do it because I feel like that's a formula for hearing, 'You never did what you said you were going to', she says, "but I really love directing". And while she admits to some fear of stepping behind the camera and out of her comfort zone, "[Fear]'s intrinsic to everything you do as a creative person. You're constantly putting yourself up there to be trashed. If I thought about it too much, I'd just be crippled. I'd rather create". Source: www.latimes.com

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