Having recently moved to Paris, the American actress announced in an interview with Le Figaro that she was ready for a French-language role
Soon to appear in cinemas in Knight of Cups by Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman revealed during the course of an interview with Le Figaro that she was now feeling “confident” enough to take on a role in the language of Molière.
The face of Dior and star of Black Swan has just recently made her debut as a director of a feature-length film, having already completed two shorts as a director – namely New York I Love You and Eve (both in 2008).
In A Tale of Love and Darkness – a film adapted from the novel of the same name by Israeli writer Amos Oz and filmed in Jerusalem – Natalie Portman is both actress and director, playing the part of the main character’s mother; a role she does in Hebrew.
“It’s the language of my childhood,” explains the delectable Ms Portman to the French publication, “But as I don’t have a complete mastery of it, it limits improvisation. The positive side? It gave me a confidence that I didn’t have up to then, namely that of acting in other languages that I don’t speak fluently… I’m ready to try in French for any director that would be willing to trust me!”
Portman is perhaps under-selling herself a little: she’s married to French dancer/choreographer Benjamin Millepied (they met one another working on Black Swan). The pair moved from Los Angeles to Paris last autumn when Millepied took up a position as Director of Dance at Paris Opera Ballet. Portman says that she has always been a “fan of French culture” – a love of France that was instilled in her by her father.
“My parents allowed me to do my first film with a French director. I started to learn the language and I came to Paris several times over the years to practice it. I’ve been getting some extra lessons since I arrived here and I’m hugely motivated to improving it now!”
It was, in fact, Luc Besson who gave the star her first role in the English-language film Leon when she was just 12 years old in 1994. Since then, the Harvard graduate has had an illustrious career, acting for such Hollywood greats as Woody Allen, Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. As for finding a French director to trust her in a French-language role, one can’t imagine that she’ll be short of volunteers.