5 Things We Learned From Natalie Portman's Hollywood Reporter Interview by the Forward

5 Things We Learned From Natalie Portman's Hollywood Reporter Interview

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Natalie Portman, queen of the Jews, is on the of the Hollywood Reporter. From the start, the 33-year-old Israeli-born actress warned reporter Stephen Galloway that she was going to be blunt.

And blunt she was.

The Dior spokeswoman dished on everything from John Galliano to what she thinks of the recent Israeli elections, to living in Paris in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks.

Here are the highlights:

On Bibi’s reelection: “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, shit on Israel. I do not. I don’t want to do that.”

On the Hyper Cacher attack: “Someone I was with was looking at the news and said, ‘Oh my God! There were just attacks in Paris.’” “Portman called [her husband Benjamin] Millepied and was shocked to learn the details. Was she shaken by the killings? She looks at me directly and stops twirling that metal stick. ‘Listen,’ she says. ‘I’m from Israel.’”

On being Jewish in Paris: “Yes [I’m nervous], but I’d feel nervous being a black man in this country. I’d feel nervous being a Muslim in many places.”

On John Galliano: “I don’t see why not to be forgiving to someone who is, I mean, someone who’s trying to change,” she says. “However, I don’t think those comments are ever OK. I don’t forgive the comments, but … we’ve all done things that we regret.”

On her directorial debut, adapting Amos Oz’s memoir: “A Tale of Love and Darkness” “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 says. “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.”

On getting the Hebrew right: “[Hebrew] was a biblical language that they modernized,” she says. “It was a language nobody spoke until the ’20s or something. Nobody spoke it. They spoke Yiddish or Ladino in the Sephardic world and their [home-country] languages. That’s why the story of the language is a very unique and remarkable one. Then [with the formation of Israel], they made it almost a law that everyone had to speak the language. Like, you would get a ticket if you were talking Yiddish in the streets. You know, we have a country that has people from 40 countries coming in. We [had] to unify with the language.”

Oh, and in case you were wondering, her favorite TV shows are “Broad City” and “Transparent.”

For the full story, head to The Hollywood Reporter.


Anne Cohen

Anne Cohen

Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.

5 Things We Learned From Natalie Portman's Hollywood Reporter Interview

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