Category: Press

Press: Natalie Portman Weighs in on ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’s’ Possible Breast Cancer Storyline

Press: Natalie Portman Weighs in on ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’s’ Possible Breast Cancer Storyline

Natalie Portman doesn’t know if “Thor: Love and Thunder” will include a breast cancer storyline for her character Jane Foster, but she’s definitely intrigued by the possibility.

“It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues,” she told Variety at L.A. Dance Project’s 8th annual fundraising gala at downtown gallery space Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel on Saturday night. “I really don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve heard the same rumors as you have, and it’s exciting to think about.”

Portman is set to reprise her MCU role in the fourth installment of the superhero franchise, in which Jane becomes Thor. Director Taika Waititi first told Variety’s Marc Malkin earlier this month that the movie could include the cancer storyline, which appears in the “Thor” comics.

“I think that’s a really powerful part of the books. I think it’s really cool that she’s fighting this thing and there’s two battles going on. Personally I really love that storyline,” he said. “But whether it ends up in the film is yet to be seen.”

Meanwhile, Portman gushed over Brie Larson’s work in the standalone “Captain Marvel” movie. Although she was unable to attend the dance gala, Larson was a co-chair of the evening.

“I was actually really inspired by her training for ‘Captain Marvel,’” she said. “It was so incredible what she was able to do.”

The big picture behind these future blockbusters — an opportunity to make the Marvel world less male-dominated — isn’t lost on Portman.

“It’s pretty awesome, and I’m grateful to be around someone inspiring like her,” she said of Larson. Portman hopes they might spend more time together in the future, specifically on the set of “Captain Marvel 2” or “Thor 4: Love and Thunder.”

“I love the cross-pollination of all the [Marvel] movies,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons it becomes so powerful: All of the supporting players in each movie — you’ve seen movies where they’re the leading players. So you really relate to all of the characters in such a deep way.”

Source: Variety

Press: Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied Will ‘Support’ Kids If They’re Interested in Show Business

Press: Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied Will ‘Support’ Kids If They’re Interested in Show Business

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied will back their children no matter what career they choose.

“They’ll do whatever they want,” the choreographer, 42, told Us Weekly exclusively at the L.A. Dance Project Gala on Saturday, October 19. “I’m always there to support them and guide them with all the experience that I have now without being [pushy]. I didn’t have a pushy mother as a dancer, and I would be the same. Hopefully, [I’ll] give them the best foundation to succeed, to be happy.”

The actress, 38, who shares Aleph, 8, and Amalia, 2, with the dancer, went on to tell Us, “I feel so lucky that [Benjamin and I] … found our passions so young. That’s the best thing that you could hope, is for any child to have a passion for something and know it and be able to follow it so clearly. I think that’s a dream.”

She and Millepied tied the knot in 2012, one year after welcoming their son. When it comes to keeping the romance alive in their relationship while balancing two kids and successful careers, Portman admitted that carving out time can be “challenging.”

“Sometimes it doesn’t happen,” the Oscar winner told Us. “Sometimes you go weeks without having that time together. Sometimes you’re able to find the extra time and it’s a battle. I need tips on it as well. It’s something that everyone who’s in that cross-section of work and life understands. There’s no easy solution!”

When all four family members are together, Portman told Us exclusively in June 2018 that mealtimes are sometimes complicated since she’s vegan and her husband is not.
LOL! Celebrity Parents Reveal Most Inappropriate Things Their Kids Have Said

“My son has asked [Benjamin], ‘Why do you eat that and mommy doesn’t?’” the No Strings Attached star explained at the time. “And I talked to him about it. I think it’s very natural for children to relate to that stuff […] We tend to eat vegan and vegetarian food in the house [because I] make one thing that everyone eats for dinner. It becomes, like, normal stuff that kids get used to.”

Source: US Weekly

Press: Natalie Portman, Benjamin Millepied Help Raise Over $1 Million For L.A. Dance Project

Press: Natalie Portman, Benjamin Millepied Help Raise Over $1 Million For L.A. Dance Project

Natalie Portman may be joining Chris Hemsworth in Marvel’s “Thor 4: Love and Thunder,” but as the petite, Dior-clad actress struck a range of poses on the carpet inside downtown Los Angeles gallery space Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel on Saturday night, it was impossible to imagine her wielding an enormous hammer. But then, the Oscar winner has made a career out of surprising cinematic transformations — Jackie O, anyone?

Portman, she served as co-chair of L.A. Dance Project’s eighth annual gala, wasn’t focused on embodying the female Thor. Instead, she wanted to shine a spotlight on the work of her husband. Benjamin Millepied, who founded LADP. “I’m so proud of him for realizing his dream,” she told Variety. And Millepied dreamed big: “You know, I remember eight years ago he was saying, ‘I want to have a dance company in L.A., I want to have our own space and I want to have like 15 dancers.’ And now we’re here and he did all of those things.”

Did Portman respond like a supportive spouse or give her husband a reality check at the time? “Well, I believe in him, and I believe in dreams, and it’s a beautiful dream,” she said with a smile, perhaps proving that opposites — pragmatists and dreamers, in this case — really do attract. “I also understand how challenging it is to finance in this hyper-capitalist life,” Portman added. “It’s hard to create new arts institutions in any town. And in this day and age, especially with an art like dance, which is not easily commodified. You can buy a painting or buy a recording of music but you can’t take a dance home with you. There’s no way to sell it in a flashy way.”

That may be true, but this lavish soiree in the center of the thriving Arts District seemed like the epitome of flash. The evening kicked off with alfresco toasts of Dom served in a courtyard, ended with a locally sourced seated dinner and in between guests shuffled into a studio space for intimate musical (composer Nicholas Britell played his scores for “Moonlight” and “Succession” ) and dance performances. The latter featured resident artists and the LADP company but students from the Gabriella Foundation — a charter school for girls from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods that incorporates dance into its curriculum — proved to be an emotional highlight for the audience.

Not surprisingly, the benefit attracted a diverse array of luminaries including Andie MacDowell, LL Cool J and Lawrence Bender, and over $1 million had been raised for the dance company by the end of the night.

“I started out as a ballet dancer, then became an actor, then became a movie producer,” Bender told Variety. “I love Benjamin’s choreography and his style and I want to support him. [Modern] dance is an important part of a thriving city for someone who loves the arts.”

Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins shared a different perspective on Los Angeles. “I think this is a very strange city” he told Variety. “The more ways we can interpret the culture of the city, the spirit of the city, the better. Dance is a very rich form, so it’s a match made in heaven.”

Jenkins is not just a fan of the form — there’s a move tie-in, too: “I’m going to do Alvin Ailey with Fox Searchlight, so my life and dance is starting to merge.” The project is still a work-in-progress at this point. “It’s not quite a biopic but maybe it’s a biopic,” said Jenkins. “I still haven’t figured it out myself.”

Just as one director is getting into dance, Millepied is about to make his directorial debut (a modern-day reimagining of “Carmen” that begins shooting in January) now that LADP’s foundation seems solid.

“I’m particularly proud of this year,” he said. “To see the growing community that’s supporting the company, the fact that we now have a space and perform regularly, and people are actually showing up and enjoying the art we create is really rewarding. We also travel internationally. I feel like after eight years, we are getting places.”

Source: Variety

Press: Natalie Portman Weighs in on Scorsese Marvel Comments: “There’s Room for All Types of Cinema”

Press: Natalie Portman Weighs in on Scorsese Marvel Comments: “There’s Room for All Types of Cinema”

The actress and Los Angeles Dance Project co-chair will return to the MCU and reprise her role as Jane Foster in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder.’

Natalie Portman now joins a group of fellow directors and actors giving their two cents about Martin Scorsese’s controversial statements about Marvel movies.

“I think there’s room for all types of cinema,” she told The Hollywood Reporter at the 6th annual Los Angeles Dance Project Gala on Saturday at downtown Los Angeles’ Hauser & Wirth. “There’s not one way to make art.”

The actress and LADP co-chair arrived alongside LADP founder and husband Benjamin Millepied. Portman is set to reprise her role as Jane Foster when she returns to the MCU in 2021 for Thor: Love and Thunder.

She defended the comic book adaptations, asserting that the pics allow viewers a form of escape from their day-to-day lives.

“I think that Marvel films are so popular because they’re really entertaining and people desire entertainment when they have their special time after work, after dealing with their hardships in real life,” said Portman.

Earlier in the month, Scorsese spoke with Empire about his views towards the Marvel movies, expressing that he regards them as “not cinema” and likens them to “theme parks.”

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” the filmmaker told the magazine. “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

Since his initial remarks, Scorsese doubled down on his comments at the BFI London Film Festival. Ahead of a screening for his Netflix film The Irishman, the Oscar-winning helmer repeated the “theme parks” analogy.

“Theaters have become amusement parks. That is all fine and good, but don’t invade everything else in that sense,” he said. “That is fine and good for those who enjoy that type of film and, by the way, knowing what goes into them now, I admire what they do. It’s not my kind of thing, it simply is not. It’s creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that.”

Other stars and directors who have responded to Scorsese’s statements include Karen Gillan, James Gunn, Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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