Shalom Life | December 25, 2014

Natalie Portman Explains How 'Star Wars' Almost Ruined Her Career

The 'Black Swan' actress says no one wanted to work with her after 'Star Wars'

By: Sara Torvik

Published: December 19th, 2014 in Culture » Film » News

Natalie Portman Explains How 'Star Wars' Almost Ruined Her Career

It appears that the Star Wars franchise may have actually hindered Natalie Portman’s career more than it helped. In a recent interview with New York Magazine, the actress spoke openly about some of the negative effects that starring in the films had on her credibility in the industry.

She played an important role as Queen Amidala / Padmé in all three of the prequels from 1999-2005, and also starred in the late director Mike Nichols’ play The Seagull in 2001. In the interview she opened up about this time in her life and how the Star Wars films affected people’s perceptions of her as an actress.

"Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress," Portman, who has been acting since she was 11, explained. "I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me."

Episode 1 did well at the box office, bringing in more than $1 billion worldwide, but received a lot of mixed and downright negative reviews from fans and critics alike. Before its release, Portman had previously earned a handful of feature film credits including 1995's Heat, and 1996's Beautiful Girls and Everyone Says I Love You.

"Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, 'Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her,'" Portman said of her big critical break following Star Wars.

"And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis," she continued of Paris, je t'aime director Tykwer, and the V for Vendetta writers Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Portman would then go on to achieve further critical acclaim for her role in 2011’s Black Swan for which she also took home the Best Actress Oscar.

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