Natalie Portman Talks Israeli Politics, Directorial Debut, Husband Benjamin Millepied, Her Oscar

May 7, 2015

Natalie Portman graces the cover of The Hollywood Reporter and opens up about Israeli politics, her directorial debut with ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ her husband Benjamin Millepied and more. She also shares her thoughts on the Best Actress Oscar she won, and admits she doesn’t know where it is.

Natalie Portman

The 33-year-old Oscar winning actress is making her directorial debut with the a screen adaptation of Israeli author Amos Oz’s ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ which is set to have its world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Thus the occasion for a wide-ranging, in-depth interview with The Hollywood Reporter which saw the Israeli-born Natalie Portman fearless in broaching such hot-button topics as the recent election in her native country, which saw the re-election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

She said, “I’m very much against Netanyahu. Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected. I find his racist comments horrific. However, I don’t — what I want to make sure is, I don’t want to use my platform [the wrong way]. I feel like there’s some people who become prominent, and then it’s out in the foreign press. You know, sh-t on Israel. I do not. I don’t want to do that.”

She spoke about the movie that marks her directorial debut and why she optioned Amos Oz’s book, ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ many years ago. It chronicles the story of his relationship with his mother who committed suicide when he 12 years old. In the movie Portman portrays the mother. She also penned the screenplay.

She said of the book, “The language was really what [drew me], his obsession with words and the way words are connected in Hebrew, which has this incredible poetry and magic.”

She continued, saying, “It’s obviously almost impossible to translate, but there’s just incredible beauty to that. [Jews are] a people built of words, people built of books, and it’s quite beautiful to see that, which is a strange thing to start for a movie.”

As for writing the screenplay, she said, “I started thinking about it, and then I made my shorts, and I started writing a little bit, and then I would put it away and go work some more, and then I’d come back to it…My process from school is to sort of handwrite my structure … and revise it and everything, and then once I have that, then to start actually writing it at the computer.”

She also opened up about married life. She met her husband, the 37-year-old French ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied on the set of ‘Black Swan’ five years ago. The couple married in 2012 and have one child, a son, three-year-old Aleph. She said, “The disappointments are always in myself, and like, when you’re faced day to day with someone looking at you, it’s like a mirror that you have to yourself, and you can see your own good behavior and bad behavior.”

She added, “And it’s a beautiful challenge to be the best person in the mirror that you can be. I mean, I don’t beat myself up over it, but I’m not always as generous as I feel like I could be.”

Natalie Portman won the Best Actress Oscar for her starring role in the thriller ‘Black Swan,’ directed by Darren Aronofsky. In the interview, she made a surprising admission about the statuette. She said, ““I don’t know where it is. I think it’s in the safe or something. I don’t know. I haven’t seen it in a while. I mean, Darren actually said to me something when we were in that whole thing that resonated so deeply.”

She continued, saying, “I was reading the story of Abraham to my child and talking about, like, not worshipping false idols. And this is literally like gold men. This is literally worshipping gold idols — if you worship it. That’s why it’s not displayed on the wall. It’s a false idol.”

See more of the interview and Natalie Portman’s The Hollywood Reporter cover photo here. Watch the behind-the-scenes video below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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