Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman achieves A-list status with Black Swan and shifts gears with a new comedy, Your Highness, and enter the superhero world with the much-anticipated marvel comic-book movie adaptation Thor.
It’s hard to think about Natalie Portman not being on Hollywood’s A-list. After all, the stunning actress is loved by many fans and well respected by her fellow celebrity peers. But it’s not until recently that the actress hit it big with Black Swan. Little would she know that, by taking on the role in this psychological thriller, her career would skyrocket to extraordinary heights.
Portman is deserving of all the accolades and awards she’s received for Black Swan, playing the fragile Nina, who strove to find perfection in a world that accepts nothing less. Hollywood, some would say, is not so different. But Portman has showed her career choices to be more about the acting than the fame, and by doing so, she’s proven she is not one-dimensional.
So with that, and all the anticipation leading up to her Best Actress Academy Award win, she’s leaving the stress and drama behind by throwing some comedy back into her life. After all, according to Portman, she prides her acting skills on being versatile. “I think it’s good to stretch yourself and test out different genres and types of characters,” Portman told the L.A. Times. “It’s what my heroes do. I look at Meryl Streep and how she goes from Doubt to Mamma Mia! to It’s Complicated and Julie & Julia. You have to give yourself variety and joy.”
But when it comes to comedies, especially of the romantic kind, Portman says the role of the woman must be smart. A romantic comedy about the girl who wants to get married or have a makeover just to get the guy isn’t her style.
Moving along this path, Portman will light up the big screen in the upcoming comedy, Your Highness (April 8th), opposite James Franco and Danny McBride, which Portman describes as “a mix between The Princess Bride and Pineapple Express.” In the comedy, she stars as Isabel, an elusive warrior, who helps Franco’s character find his missing bride. Isabel, however, is not exactly who she seems and has a dangerous agenda of her own. Following this, Portman will segue into more uncharted territory—the superhero kind.
In Thor (May 6th), co-starring newcomer Chris Hemsworth in the title role, Portman enters into the Marvel Comic superhero world that many actors would kill to be a part of. Portman plays Jane Foster, who’s not only gorgeous but also has a scientific brain. “My character is working on this theory of connecting dimensions,” Portman said during Comic-Con. “There was an Einstein theory, a long time ago, where you could connect dimensions through the warping of time and space. Thor obviously comes from another dimension, so he is this missing piece to her scientific inquiry. Everyone thinks she’s on the fringe of science and that she’s this kook, so this is her opportunity to prove herself.”
Aside from acting, Portman is also diving into the role of director and has plans to slowly build herself into a mini movie mogul. “Natalie wants to build something that’s different from your usual production company,” Annette Savitch, her producing partner, says. “We want to do movies that are female-driven, from a fresher perspective. So if it’s a comedy, it’s not just about women out to find husbands. I think that’s really lacking today.” You may be surprised to also learn that that Portman and her partner are currently working on a few films, Best Buds, a “stoner road trip comedy,” and BYO, a “female Superbad.”
With so many projects on the way, not to mention a role as mother as she gets set to welcome her first child with fiancé Benjamin Millepied (whom she met while filming Black Swan), Portman continues to take Hollywood by storm. But with great fame comes great responsibility and paparazzi, which Portman simply takes in stride. “Anyone who ever approaches me has always been very respectful and sweet. And it’s exciting to have people be passionate about what you do. That’s the best thing you can hope for. And I’m pretty camouflaged. I’m small, so I camouflage easily [laughs].”
—By Toni-Marie Ippolito