Natalie Portman likes to try out ‘wild experiences’ on film

Natalie Portman has been deliberately choosing film roles which are completely different from her own life.The Black Swan star’s recent film roles have included Annihilation, in which she played a scientist investigating a mysterious quarantine zone,…

Natalie Portman has been deliberately choosing film roles which are completely different from her own life.

The Black Swan star’s recent film roles have included Annihilation, in which she played a scientist investigating a mysterious quarantine zone, Vox Lux, in which she portrayed a troubled popstar, and the upcoming Lucy in the Sky, in which she plays an astronaut who returns home after a transcendent experience in space and begins to lose touch with reality.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Natalie, who is mother to eight-year-old son Aleph and two-year-old daughter Amalia, explained she has been making a conscious effort to select parts that are far removed from her real life.

“I just feel weird if I’m at work pretending to be a mom to some kid who’s not my kid,” she said. “So, I’ve been trying out wild experiences like being an astronaut or a popstar.”

Natalie made her feature directorial debut in 2015 with A Tale of Love and Darkness and is keen to get behind the camera once again.

She is also in the early stages of writing a screenplay, and she tries to set aside time to work on the script once her children are asleep and she’s completed household tasks.

“I’ve been working a little bit, you know, I get the kids to bed, do the dishes, do the laundry, and then write for an hour,” the Oscar-winning actress explained.

In keeping with her desire to have “wild experiences”, it was recently announced that the 38-year-old would be playing the female Thor in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. She told her Instagram followers she was going to get “jacked” to reprise the role of Jane Foster.

Lucy in the Sky, which also stars Jon Hamm and Dan Stevens, is due to be released later this year.

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Natalie Portman dazzles in black gown at Annihilation premiere

Natalie Portman dazzled in a black ballgown at the Annihilation premiere on Tuesday night (13Feb18).The actress stepped out at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, California for the debut of her latest film, in which she plays a biologist who s…

Natalie Portman dazzled in a black ballgown at the Annihilation premiere on Tuesday night (13Feb18).

The actress stepped out at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, California for the debut of her latest film, in which she plays a biologist who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition.

Taking to the red carpet, Natalie turned heads in a beautiful dress with tulle skirt, embellished shoulder detailing and velvet ribbon at the waist from Valentino. The 36-year-old didn’t wear any jewellery and kept her beauty look simple, opting for a swipe of black eyeliner and a touch of pale pink lip gloss.

Natalie was joined at the event by her co-star Gina Rodriguez, who also went for a very glamorous outfit.

The Jane the Virgin actress turned heads in a sparkly halter dress from Cristina Ottaviano that featured multicolour sequins on the skirt and blue sequins on the top.

While Tessa Thompson once again proved her fashion credentials in a monochromatic dress from Naeem Khan which was comprised of a white tulle skirt and ruffled collar. The actress matched her chic ensemble with dewy make-up, though had her make-up artist give her an on-trend flick of geometric black eyeliner at the corners of her eyes.

Jennifer Jason Leigh donned an elegant black lace dress and nude high heel sandals, Alicia Machado chose a burgundy sequinned minidress for the night, and Oscar Isaac, who portrays the husband of Natalie’s character in the adventure-fantasy film, looked handsome in a dark blue suit matched with a grey shirt and blue tie.

Among the other celebrities to turn out for the event was Janelle Monae, who rocked her favoured monochromatic attire and wowed in a white skirt dotted with black circles, matched with a sheer black top and shiny blue ankle boots.

Annihilation is set to be released on Netflix and at some cinemas from 23 February (18).

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Annihilation stars address ‘whitewashing’ criticism

Annihilation stars Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh have been left flabbergasted by a new ‘whitewashing’ controversy surrounding the movie.The stars take on leading roles in director Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller, which is based on the first n…

Annihilation stars Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh have been left flabbergasted by a new ‘whitewashing’ controversy surrounding the movie.

The stars take on leading roles in director Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller, which is based on the first novel in writer Jeff VanderMeer’s book series.

The initial book, released in 2014, does not describe the characters played by Natalie and Jennifer, referring to them only as “the biologist” and “the psychologist”, with subsequent books detailing the women have Asian and Native American ancestry.

Filmmaker Garland told Yahoo in December (17) he worked exclusively from the first book: “I knew at that time (I signed on to the project) there were supposed to be three books planned, but I didn’t know (anything) about the other two,” he said, before adding he took the movie adaptation in a totally new direction from the novel with author VanderMeer’s blessing.

“I took a really weird approach to the adaptation. I thought, ‘I’m not going to re-read the book; I’m going to adapt it like a dream of the book’.”

But now Garland and his producers have come under fire for casting two white actresses to play women of colour, and Natalie and Jennifer have stepped forward insisting no one knew this about their characters before filming began.

“Well, that does sound problematic, but I’m hearing it here first,” Natalie tells Yahoo in a new interview.

“It’s probably a valid criticism. I didn’t know that,” Jennifer adds.

Although Portman is disappointed with the oversight, she is still proud of the cast’s diversity. Tessa Thompson, who is of Afro-Latino heritage, stars alongside fellow Latino actors Oscar Isaac and Gina Rodriguez on the female-led ensemble, and Natalie thinks Annihilation is moving in the right direction when it comes to matters of cultural representation in Hollywood.

“We need more representation of Asians on film, of Hispanics on film, of blacks on film, women and particularly women of colour, Native Americans – I mean, we just don’t have enough representation,” the Oscar winner stressed. “And also these categories like ‘white’ and ‘nonwhite’ – they’re imagined classifications but have real-life consequences…

“I hope that begins to change, because I think everyone is becoming more conscious of it.”

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Oscar Isaac warped his mind shooting two major films on the same day

Actor Oscar Isaac is still reeling from the “wild” experience of filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Annihilation simultaneously.The 38-year-old stars opposite Natalie Portman in director Alex Garland’s new sci-fi horror film and back when the movie w…

Actor Oscar Isaac is still reeling from the “wild” experience of filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Annihilation simultaneously.

The 38-year-old stars opposite Natalie Portman in director Alex Garland’s new sci-fi horror film and back when the movie was in production, he had to literally juggle two sets at the same time – on the same lot.

“It was literally the same studio…,” Oscar explained to Slash Film. “I would shoot something in the morning and then have a little bit of down time and then switch it up. So that was wild.

“I think I visited (Annihilation), too, still dressed up as (Star Wars character) Poe on the set.”

The strange experience of having to balance two characters in such a short time span forced Oscar to approach acting in a brand new way, with the star revealing he had little opportunity to rehearse with his Annihilation co-star Natalie ahead of the scenes they shot together.

“It was pretty wild. It reminded me a little of (Tim Burton’s 1985 film) Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, when he’s on the lot and you see all the different actors walking around,” Oscar noted. “There was something very classic about it.

“There was very little time, and not a lot of rehearsal time, and Natalie and I didn’t know each other. It happens in movies, obviously – you have to suddenly be very intimate with someone very quickly.”

But according to Oscar, the situation worked out in everyone’s favour: “I think the fact that she (Portman) was willing to trust me and I was trusting her, and we just went in there and did it and tried to find a real intimacy (ended up being a good thing),” he explained. “Which is always a weird, awkward, strange thing to do suddenly in front of a bunch of people.

“But we found that, and I really enjoyed those scenes with her. She is very focused, but also in those scenes, very emotionally available as well, so I really enjoyed that.”

Annihilation, which also stars Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Benedict Wong, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, reaches U.S. theatres on 23 February (18).

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