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The Schmooze

Natalie Portman Transforms For Role Inspired By Diaper-Wearing Astronaut

Good news for approximately the first time since 2016: Natalie Portman will play a married astronaut who falls in love with a fellow NASA worker played by Jon Hamm, in a movie that is based off the surreal 2007 story of the astronaut love-triangle that ended with a woman driving cross country in a space diaper. The whole thing will be produced by Reese Witherspoon.

In “Pale Blue Dot,” Portman will star as Lucy Cola, an astronaut who returns to earth and experiences a disassociation common to astronauts after long missions. She begins an extramarital affair with another astronaut (Jon Hamm) and then loses everything when he in turn begins a relationship with another astronaut (Zazie Beetz.)

Lucy Cola is a fictional character. But Captain Lisa Nowack, who inspired the story, is very real. In 2007, she drove 900 miles in a car packed with a knife, a bebe gun, rope, and disguises without stopping to confront her ex-lover’s new girlfriend. She was charged with attempted murder but accepted a plea deal for a lesser charge. The scandal had everything: Astronauts, road trips, sex, the promise of violence, and a spurned woman in a diaper.

As Cola, Portman is being called unrecognizable. We don’t think so — it’s an unflattering haircut, but to us the fierceness of Natalie is as on display as ever.

In character as Lucy Cola. ?: @hilstills #sneakpeek

A post shared by Natalie Portman (@natalieportman) on

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny




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