Press: Natalie Portman on playing a tormented astronaut in Lucy in the Sky, the Time’s Up movement, and being the new Thor

Press: Natalie Portman on playing a tormented astronaut in Lucy in the Sky, the Time’s Up movement, and being the new Thor

As a kid with a precocious mind for science, Natalie Portman dreamed of becoming an astronaut. But acting eventually grounded her among less celestial stars.

So the role of Lucy Cola, whose encounter with the vastness of the universe during a space-station mission triggers an existential crisis back on Earth in Noah Hawley’s Lucy in the Sky, was “a little bit of wish fulfilment”, Portman admits. And it wasn’t merely the prospect of climbing into a spacesuit.

“Just to see a woman in complete humanity, with flaws, with strengths, is so lucky,” she says. “So often, a woman is adorable, or a badass, or a villain. You could sum her up in one word.”

“You don’t have a simple feeling about Lucy at the end,” she adds.

Lucy in the Sky is loosely based on the tabloid-ready tale of Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who in 2007 drove from Houston to Orlando to attack her former lover’s new girlfriend – reportedly wearing a diaper to save time on her journey.

Alas, there’s no diaper in Lucy in the Sky, an omission that has whipped expectant audiences into a froth. “This is fictional, other than the sort of jumping-off point,” Portma n says.

An Oscar winner for Black Swan and an outspoken Time’s Up advocate, Portman will soon be embracing another “type-A” woman: in July at San Diego Comic-Con, she lifted the hammer high as it was revealed that her Marvel character, Jane Foster, would be anointed female Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder, due in 2021.

Talking from Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, the choreographer and filmmaker Benjamin Millepied, and their two young children, Portman, 38, speaks about navigating a traditionally male world, both onscreen and off.

These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Let’s begin with the mystery of the diaper. Why isn’t there one, and what’s with our fixation?

Well, I think that it was the salacious element of the real story. For us, that wasn’t what it was about. We were trying to get into the heart of humans and not make it salacious. It seems to be a symptom of clickbait culture that getting my name and diaper in the same sentence is probably helpful for journalists.

Lucy has a mind-altering experience while floating alone in space that makes life back in Houston suddenly feel so small. Have you ever experienced anything similar?

You mean, like an existential crisis? [Laughs] Realising our insignificance, and then weighing that with how much you feel everything. I don’t know a human that hasn’t faced that at some point.

And yet when Lucy behaves much like a man might in competing for the next mission, her supervisor castigates her for getting too emotional.

Noah had me watch The Right Stuff in preparation to get a sense of that very competitive, arrogant, hazing environment that goes on at Nasa to get those seats. These daredevil personalities that are willing to strap themselves to a bomb and splashdown in the ocean in basically a metal shell that just drops out of space. I mean, it’s really wild what they’re doing, and it’s a very specific personality.

And when you see the men doing it in The Right Stuff, it just seems so fun, and good-natured – guys just messing with each other, you know? But when you see me and Zazie (Beetz, playing Lucy’s rival) doing it, it comes off like, “Oh, that’s a catty woman in the workplace.”

That’s the same thing that I think she experiences when her suit starts filling up with water. She feels like if a man did that, they’d be like, “Oh my God, look. He’ll do anything just to finish the mission. What a hero.” With her they say, “Oh, you’re reckless and emotional.”

You didn’t actually have water in your helmet in that scene, did you?

We did fill up the helmet with water, which was scary, because apparently that’s a difficult thing to do with current special-effects technology. I am not that daredevil personality, so that was definitely a challenging day. Basically, I held my breath as long as I could, and then I could remove myself from the helmet as soon as I couldn’t hold my breath anymore. [Laughs] Oh, yes, it was a less pleasant scene to do, I must admit.

What struck you most from your research into female astronauts?

It’s interesting to note a profession where there’s usually one woman at a time. Even that recent story about how two women [were scheduled to do the first all-female spacewalk], but they only ended up having one suit, and one of them couldn’t go – which was so insane – [and it] shows this idea that there’s one slot for a woman that exists so often in powerful positions. There is one seat for a woman at the board table or whatever.

Lucy’s plight reminds me of the speech you gave in which you advised, “Stop the rhetoric that a woman is crazy or difficult”. Which leads me to Time’s Up. What are you most proud of accomplishing?

It’s been a really impressive thing how Time’s Up has been able to shape the conversation around pay equality and promote that. Of course, the US women’s soccer team was really crucial in shaping that conversation. Michelle Williams just furthered it [in her Emmy acceptance speech]. It was really incredible to get to see how culture is shifting in talking about it. Then the recent changes in the New York law that was pro survivor of sexual harassment, abuse and assault was also really incredible. I think all of the conversations – women talking to each other, women talking publicly more – is inspiring to each of us. It makes us more capable of knowing even how to articulate what we’re feeling, what we need.

There’s so much to do still, but it’s also been a very rapid change and definitely feels like all of us have had a light-speed evolution in the past few years.

And now you’re about to embark on a new Thor film, your first since ‘Thor: The Dark World’ in 2013. Three years ago you said that as far as you knew, you were done. How did the franchise lure you back?

The third one didn’t take place on Earth, where Jane lives, so it didn’t make sense for me to be there. When [director Taika Waititi] came to me with this idea – that I get to be female Thor – it was a very exciting prospect. I think Marvel has been really wonderful at making their films look more like a reflection of the world and having superheroes of all different kinds of people. And to have so many female protagonists [with Angelina Jolie as Thena in The Eternals] is also really, really exciting. The Black Widow movie [starring Scarlett Johansson] looks amazing.

How does it feel to finally become a superhero?

I love getting to be part of something that is such a major part of entertainment for young people. It sets your mindset to recognise injustice. I recently saw a sign at the climate march where this kid was like: “I grew up on Marvel movies. Of course, I’m going to fight against wrong”.

So just how heavy is that hammer?

[Laughs] It’s heavy. I was surprised.

Source: The Independent

Photos: ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration

Photos: ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration

I’ve added photos of Natalie looking beautiful at last nights ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration to the gallery.

Press: Natalie Portman Calls for Women to Embrace Their Mistakes: “F*ck Up and Thrive, Sisters”

Press: Natalie Portman Calls for Women to Embrace Their Mistakes: “F*ck Up and Thrive, Sisters”

When Natalie Portman took the stage at ELLE’s annual Women in Hollywood event last night, she was poised to talk about equality. Her latest film, Lucy in the Sky, explores the stakes for women who fail or flounder in comparison their male counterparts. Her female astronaut character “loses her cool and loses everything.”

But during her remarks, the Oscar winner painted a world in which women are allowed to fail big and stay in the game. “The most powerful example we can set for the next generation would be for us to do that most human of things: Make mistakes, and then not follow the narrative of the doomed woman or the fallen women or the destroyed woman,” Portman declared. “Go out post-mistake and succeed wildly. So, fuck up and thrive sisters.”

Read Portman’s full Women in Hollywood speech.

I am so happy to be here with you all today. Thank you all. I mean, that’s the best honor. I’m so flattered to be here with this group. Mindy, Nicole, Melina, Lena, Jodi, Zendaya, Scarlett, Gwyneth, Dolly. I’m honored to be here among you. And I love watching everything you do and I feel lucky to be in a world where you are making such beautiful art. I’m so happy to be here on behalf of Lucy in the Sky, which opened last week.

Lucy is an astronaut. She’s a high achiever. She’s someone who wins and when she gets back to Earth after her mission, she has a hard time returning to the mundane routines of everyday life. And she … kind of, well, loses it. And when she loses her cool, she loses everything. She loses her job, her relationship, her identity. And the experience of playing this character made me yearn for a woman’s right to fuck up. To fuck up and not be interminably punished for it. Because we know, as we tell our kids, that making mistakes is the only way we learn. And we know that the biggest moments of our growth come out of our worst blunders. And if we have to play it safe to avoid mistakes, to avoid the severity of consequences for women who make mistakes, we can never be all that we potentially could be.

And over the past couple of years I’ve gotten to meet more of you—and by you, I mean those of you who identify as women in the entertainment industry—than I have in my entire 25-year career. And to my great delight, I’ve encountered some of the kindest, most thoughtful, most interesting people I’ve ever met. Once, a long time ago, a guy I dated told me that his father had warned him not to date actresses or other female impersonators. And I laughed. But I also internalized that people think of actresses as crazy and as difficult and as demanding and as artificial. And recently, as I sat in room after room of actresses because of Time’s Up, I was struck by how down to earth, how empathetic, how thoughtful and multifaceted each of the women I met were, without exception. And I realized that success for women relies on good behavior. And that the women who are in this room are probably the hardest working, the least complaining, the best personalities you can find.

And of course here, everyone is super talented and smart but also easy to be around. Because if you are a woman and you’re a pain in the ass, you will not get another job. And meanwhile, how will we know if we’ve reached equality? Is it going to be when this room is a room of successful women and it’s full of assholes? Is it going to be when our movies tank and then we get a raise the next time? Is it going to be when we commit a series of crimes and get elected anyway?

I hope not. I hope that it’s, more optimistically, that equality goes in the direction of men being held to the same standards that women are held to. That alongside talent, kindness, respect, and being easy to work with are valued as essential characteristics to getting hired. And that truly bad behavior prevents you from getting another job. And that when the offense is forgivable, when the post-mistake learning is real, people with all genders get the second chance that men currently do.

So, our job in this room as leaders in our industry is fuck up. The most powerful example we can set for the next generation would be for us to do that most human of things, make mistakes and then not follow the narrative of the doomed woman or the fallen women or the destroyed woman. Go out post-mistake and succeed wildly. So fuck up and thrive sisters.

Source: ELLE

Photos: Recent Events & Appearances

Photos: Recent Events & Appearances

Over 1,500 new photos of Natalie attending various recent events have been added to the gallery. A HUGE thank you to my friend Samantha at Brendan Fehr Online for her generous donations.

Press: Taika Waititi Personally Convinced Natalie Portman To Return For Thor: Love And Thunder

Press: Taika Waititi Personally Convinced Natalie Portman To Return For Thor: Love And Thunder

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the edge of a precipice, as Phase Three has officially come to a close. Spider-Man: Far From Home revealed how the Earth had moved on in the wake of Infinity War and Endgame, but there are still plenty of questions floating in the air. And once Marvel Studios revealed its outline for Phase Four at San Diego Comic-Con, even more questions arose.

This is especially true for the Thor franchise, as Taika Waititi announced his return for Thor: Love and Thunder. Natalie Portman is reprising her role as Jane Foster, and will even transform into Mighty Thor in the process.

And it turns out that it was Waititi himself who convinced the Oscar winner to return to the MCU. As MCU architect Kevin Feige recently revealed this when speaking about the fourth Thor movie, saying:

We love the story — it’s one of the best comic runs recently. [Director Taika Waititi] would flip through and read that run while he was doing Ragnarok. And I think when he agreed to come back and do another Thor, he was like, ‘How do we–?’ This is a very big movie that’ll be folding in a lot of elements. That is a huge important part of it. He pitched it to us, and we were totally in. We loved it. We’d been in touch with Natalie. She’s part of the MCU family and we put she and Taika together. It took one meeting and she agreed to do it.

Despite her years-long hiatus from the MCU and quick write off in Thor: Ragnarok, Natalie Portman was easily convinced to play Jane Foster again. Ragnarok director Taika Waititi just took one brief meeting with her, and reportedly wooed her with his pitch.

Kevin Feige’s comments to CNN will make a great deal of sense to moviegoers who have been following the Thor franchise. Chris Hemsworth’s series of solo flicks haven’t always been the best the MCU had to offer, and Thor: The Dark World is considered one of the weaker installments in the massive franchise.

That was the last time Natalie Portman was seen as Jane Foster, with the character being written out via breakup up with Thor.

While Jane was noticeably absent in Thor: Ragnarok, the threequel breathed new life into the property. Taika Waititi leaned in on comedy, taking the God of Thunder into space and pairing him with colorful characters, including The Hulk.

The change in tone and color really connected with audiences, and Ragnarok made a ton of money at the box office. The success was significant enough that Thor will be the first hero to get a fourth movie in the MCU.

Clearly big changes are coming for Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, and the plot twists were enticing enough to get Natalie Portman involved. We’ll just have to wait and see what’s coming in the upcoming blockbuster, which will arrive in two years and change.

Jane Foster’s absence from Phase Three was noticeable, and so much has changed throughout the last slate of films. On the whole, romantic plot lines took a step back, as characters develop in other ways. But the title Thor: Love and Thunder puts matters of the heart at the forefront. In fact, Tessa Thompson recently revealed that Valkyrie will be looking for her Queen of Asgard in the upcoming sequel.

Natalie Portman’s signature Marvel character is a genius and astrophysicist, who unknowingly gets involved in cosmic conflicts during the first Thor movie. She eventually hits it off with the God of Thunder during his fish out of water story, joining the ranks of love interest characters like Pepper Potts and Peggy Carter.

She and Thor reunite in Thor: The Dark World, revealing that he hadn’t exactly been around previously and slapping Chris Hemsworth’s behemoth hero right in his handsome face. She is infected by The Aether in the movie, with the Reality Stone flowing through her. Jane eventually saved and makes it out alive, breaking up with Thor sometime in the future.

Jane Foster wasn’t present for any of the action in Phase Three, although she did get a quick cameo in Avengers: Endgame. During the epic Time Heist, Thor and Rocket are tasked with extracting The Aether from Jane in Asgard.

While Thor ends up speaking with his mother Frigga moments before her death, Rocket must sneak into Jane’s quarters to procure the Reality Stone. Natalie Portman didn’t shoot anything new for that brief sequence, with unused footage from The Dark World utilized to briefly use Jane as a macguffin.

What Jane has been up to throughout Phase Three is largely a mystery, although she and her co-workers Darcy and Erik Selvig were revealed to have survived Thanos’ snap in a novel set after Avengers: Infinity War.

Fans are eager to catch up with the character, especially now that she’s going to be changed so drastically in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The overall story of the fourth Thor movie is a mystery to the public, although Taika Waititi clearly has been plans for his follow up to Ragnarok. The last we saw the God of Thunder, he was onboard The Benatar with the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was unclear if he was joining the team or simply hitching a ride, although the latter seems more likely given the announcement of Love and Thunder.

At the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame, Thor decided to abandon his role as the King of New Asgard. Instead, he gave Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and left Earth to become the person he was meant to be. The narrative possibilities are wide open for Taika Waititi in Thor: Love and Thunder, especially now that Natalie Portman will get her own chance to be a superhero.

Thor: Love and Thunder will fly into theaters on November 5th, 2021.

Source : Cinema Blend

Press: See Natalie as Thor in New Fan Concept Art

Press: See Natalie as Thor in New Fan Concept Art

Spider-Man: Far From Home was the final installment in Marvel’s Phase Three, wrapping up the Infinity Saga as we know it. But the studio isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, revealing the outline for Phase Four last week at San Diego Comic-Con. There were a ton of exciting updates provided about the MCU’s future, but perhaps the most surprising was Natalie Portman’s return to the Thor franchise with Taika Waititi’s Love and Thunder.

Not only will Jane Foster return to the MCU in the first significant way since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, but she’ll become a Thor herself in the upcoming sequel. This news broke the internet among the fandom, with Taika Waititi also revealing the character will go by the superhero name Mighty Thor. An artist recently imagined what Jane might look like in this new role, check it out below.

I mean, how cool is that? This fan art gives Natalie Portman a comic book accurate costume, which is sure to excite fans of her adventures on the page. Although we should expect her superheroic appearance to remain a mystery until the movie arrives in theaters 2021.

This art comes to us from Instagram, and shows a fan made poster for Thor: Love and Thunder. The image is heavily inspired by the upcoming fourth movie’s title art, which has a serious ’80s feel to it. And while using images of Valkyrie and Thor from their recent appearances in Avengers: Endgame, Jane was given a new look and an awesome helmet as Mighty Thor.

Jane Foster has wielded Mjolnir a few times in the comics, with Thor’s powers flowing through her as she gains fantastic abilities. Most notably, her transformation into Thor in one comic plot line actually negatively affected her health. While sick with breast cancer, Jane could use Thor’s hammer to battle and gain his abilities, but the transformation exacerbated her symptoms– and purged the radiation of her treatments from her body. It was a fascinating approach to the superhero identity, although its unclear if Taika Waititi will be inspired by the same story.

Thor: Love and Thunder will break new ground for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is no doubt one of the most highly anticipated installments in Phase Four’s schedule. The movie will bring Taika Waititi back to the director’s chair, after the wild success of Thor: Ragnarok. Love and Thunder marks the first time an MCU hero got a fourth movie, and brings Natalie Portman’s character back as the first character to inherit the mantle of Thor in the shared universe.

Just what the upcoming fourth Thor movie will contain is unclear, but clearly love is at the heart of the subject matter. Romantic plot lines have largely taken a backseat in the MCU through Phase Three, with the exception being Tony/Pepper and Gamora/Star-Lord. Endgame revealed Thor is still hung up on Jane, and their breakup should presumably be more fleshed out when she returns to theaters.

Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie should also return for Thor: Love and Thunder, and the actress revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that the new King of Asgard would be searching for her Queen in her next appearance. Valkyrie is the first LGBT hero in the shared universe, once again allowing the fourth movie in the Thor franchise to go where no other Marvel movie has gone before.

Thor: Love and Thunder will arrive in theater on November 5th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Source: CinemaBlend

Press: Marvel Director Wants Fans to Stop Calling Natalie Portman ‘Female Thor’

Press: Marvel Director Wants Fans to Stop Calling Natalie Portman ‘Female Thor’

A title of Love and Thunder for a MCU Thor movie might sound overly tongue-in-cheek. Not that we don’t love Marvel’s cheekier side, something we wish they’d explore more often. When Thor: Ragnarok did this a few years ago, fans wanted more as much as Chris Hemsworth did.

Now Marvel is acquiescing with Thor: Love and Thunder, albeit giving a showcase for the one and only Natalie Portman to play Jane Powers. We all know her character disappeared for a while in the Thor films, even if she also developed a very derogatory title.

Fans have been calling Portman’s character “Female Thor” on social media of late. Director of the new project, Taika Waititi, wants fans to designate her into something more in tune with gender equality.

The director wants us to think of Portman’s Thor as one and the same

When a few notable Thor fans on social media called out Portman’s character as Female Thor, Waititi chimed in immediately and said she’ll be known as “Mighty Thor.”

Those of you who know the story of Jane Powers from the comic books know she essentially fills in for her significant other (the Male Thor) when he can’t fulfill his superhero duties. Despite Jane being stricken with breast cancer, she summons all the power she can muster to take his place.

Now you know why Mighty Thor makes sense in this context. What makes Powers all the more important is she’s an astrophysicist, giving her the intellect along with the brawn.

So take heed and call her by her rightful title for the new movie. Not that we still don’t have questions about whether Portman will steal the movie away from Hemsworth.

Really, that subtitle almost looks like the name of a buddy superhero movie. Considering “Love” would obviously represent Portman, it seems it’s a subtle nod toward her receiving star billing.

Then again, others could construe the subtitle as just a more metaphorical statement about the relationship between Thor and Jane.

In the context of stardom, both Portman and Hemsworth are equal in A-list star quality. The only difference is Portman is an Oscar winner and far more accomplished actress. It could make Hemsworth intimidated on how his acting holds up to hers.

While no one can deny Hemsworth’s star quality, he still has a lot to prove in being an actor worthy of awards. At least he found his true element playing Thor.

This may be Portman’s story rather than Hemsworth’s

No matter if they share equal billing in Love and Thunder, there seems to be all indication Portman is considered the central figure. Hemsworth may have to take a bit of a backseat role here in favor of Portman’s acting ability.

Should she play up her chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer as in the comic books, then it could prove a very complex portrayal changing superhero movies to serious Oscar considerations.

Yes, Black Panther already proved such a thing, but nobody would equate Oscar with a Thor movie.

What would Hemsworth think about Portman superseding him in the film? We’re sure he’s all on board, though he’s wanted to focus more on the comedy side of Thor for a while. Let’s hope he and Portman have further comedic chemistry as they did in the previous films she appeared in.

Could Portman steal the thunder away from Hemsworth?

It’s looking clear to us Portman is going to slay as Mighty Thor, including reportedly getting herself ripped in preparation. Having this happen could be bad news for Hemsworth if he wants to focus on being Thor exclusively for a long time.

Portman’s take may prove so popular, Marvel may make more standalone movies just for her. How could they deny such a thing considering her acting pedigree?

Stealing it away from Hemsworth might anger some of the male fans. Regardless, it may be the only way to make a faster difference in expanding the path toward more women superheroes.


Photos: San Diego Comic-Con Marvel Studios Panel

Photos: San Diego Comic-Con Marvel Studios Panel

Photos of Natalie attending today’s Marvel Studio’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con have been added to the gallery. I’ll be adding more soon so make sure you check back.

Photos:  Miss Dior Exhibition In Shanghai

Photos: Miss Dior Exhibition In Shanghai

I added photos of Natalie attending the Miss Dior Exhibition In Shanghai to the gallery. I am still working hard behind the scenes to get the entire site ready to officially open.

Press: Natalie Portman Is Female Thor In ‘Thor Love And Thunder’ Opening Fall 2021

Press: Natalie Portman Is Female Thor In ‘Thor Love And Thunder’ Opening Fall 2021

Marvel just announced some amazing news at the San Diego Comic-Con!!

Natalie Portman is female Thor announced Thor 4 director Taika Waititi. She played Jane Foster in the first two Thor movies. Pic opens Fall 2021.

No surprise here at Marvel’s Comic-Con panel, but Taika Waititi was on hand to talk about Thor 4 along with Tessa Thompson who played Valkyrie in Thor Ragnarok along with Chris Hemsworth. Why no surprise? News broke earlier this week that Waititi was returning to Thor. He’s also here for FX’s What We Do In Shadows later tonight at the San Diego Convention Center. Thompson appeared earlier on HBO’s Westworld panel.

Valkyrie will be “re-investing in her people” and rebuilding Asgard said Thompson. “The love I feel for him is thunder,” said Thompson.

Waititi was reading one story line by Jason Aron called The Mighty Thor which is what the fourthquel will be based on. “That story line is incredible is full emotion, love and thunder and introduces for the first time female Thor,” said Waititi. Thompson and Hemsworth haven’t seen the script yet.

What’s happened to Thor posts Endgame? “He’s heading to the 7-11 for a little Netflix subscription and at this point he might be on the couch, who knows,” said Hemsworth.

Source: Deadline