She's come a long way since her Princess Amidala days in the Star Wars prequel series. Now, Natalie Portman is anticipating the release of her second directorial effort, A Tale of Love and Darkness. Portman took on the triple responsibilities of writing, directing and acting in the picture, which is based on Amos Oz's 2002 memoir, but it was not without some trepidation.
According to The Statesman, Portman said it was Girls creator Lena Dunham who inspired her to take on the triple role and be unafraid of any criticism she might receive.
"This young woman has no fear of (saying) 'I did it, I did all of this.' And it was so good. It inspired me to not be afraid of that (criticism)," Portman said of watching Dunham's film Tiny Furniture and seeing that Dunham had not only directed the film, but wrote and starred in it as well.
Portman admitted that she at first found it surprising that Oz trusted her to bring his memoir to life on the silver screen. According to Entertainment Weekly, Portman said, "I’m still kind of mystified by the fact that he trusted me, because I know how important this story is to him. It’s his own personal life story, and of course his own book."
Some have speculated that it's Portman's own Jewish ancestry that has forged such a deep connection for her to the material. Interestingly, Portman also filmed the entire piece in Hebrew, a decision which she hopes would show the beauty of the language that she sees with a larger audience:
"There’s so much magic in the Hebrew language that I hope people are introduced to, or if they know the language or are familiar with it, they can appreciate it in a different way."
While Portman's turn as writer, director and actor in the film has been praised as "bleakly poetic" by RogerEbert.com, Portman herself admitted that it was acting legend Lauren Bacall who taught her just how indecisive she could be as a director.
“I must be honest: She did not like me, but I loved her and admired her so much," Portman said of Bacall, whom she directed in the short film Eve in 2008. "She sensed in me what I learned later about myself…that I had a really hard time saying what I wanted and being the boss.”
It was a tough lesson for Portman, who continued to grow as an actress before she took on directorial responsibilities again. The wait seems to have worked for Portman, as she may have needed some time to grow personally and professionally. Since 2008's Eve, she has gone on to win an Oscar for Black Swan, and gotten married and had a son.
RogerEbert.com reviewer Susan Wloszczyna had solid praise for Portman's feature-length directorial debut, saying that it was one shot from A Tale of Love and Darkness "to know Portman has an artistic vision worth sharing and developing." It will be interesting to see how Natalie Portman chooses to develop that vision next.
Watch the trailer for A Tale of Love and Darkness below:
Entertainment Weekly: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/08/19/natalie-portman-interview-tale-love-darkness
The Statesman: http://www.thestatesman.com/news/entertainment/-lena-dunham-inspired-me-to-not-be-afraid-of-criticism/161112.html#OHDwxY43SyuCysGF.99