Shalom Life | July 13, 2015

Natalie Portman Tired of Reporters Asking About the Middle East

“It’s a very strange place to be from. When you say ‘I’m for Israel’, everyone wants to have a 10-hour political conversation”

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: July 11th, 2015 in Culture » Society » News

Natalie Portman Tired of Reporters Asking About the Middle East

Natalie Portman has, in the past, been a vocal supporter of Jews and Israel. However, Portman is getting tired of reporters asking her about Israel, and the political climate of the Middle East.

Although the Israeli-born actress has spoken about Israeli politics and the Middle East in the past, she admits that the questions have become wearisome.

In a recent interview conducted by Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Portman confessed that having to discuss Middle Eastern politics on a regular basis in her interviews is beginning to take its toll.

“I get asked so many questions about the Middle East, and I’m like ‘Can you please just ask me about my dress? Let’s just talk about the dress!’” Portman said with a laugh.

“Everyone has a very strong, passionate opinion about it,” Portman explained. “But I’m grateful for it. I had so many friends who asked when we were younger, ‘Who am I? What’s my identity?’ I never questioned my identity.”

Though Portman has made no secret of her support for Israel, she has also left her distaste for current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the open. “I’m very much against Netanyahu,” she said last May, adding that she was “very, very upset and disappointed” by Netanyahu’s reelection to the Israeli premiership.

However, the Oscar winning actress is also careful with what she says, recognizing that it can be taken out of context. Portman doesn’t want her celebrity status to be used to “you know, shit on Israel… I don’t want to do that.”

Portman’s directorial debut was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, an adaptation of Israeli author Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness, an autobiographical account of Oz’s childhood in a growing Israel. She is also set to play two famous women of the 20th century – Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – in two upcoming films.

Portman will also appear in two movies directed by Terrence Malick later this year, and will star in the Western Jane Got a Gun which she co-produced with Ewan McGregor and Joel Edgerton.

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