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The Schmooze

Natalie Portman To Play Twin Sister Advice Columnists — And She’ll Direct The Movie, Too

Crown Princess of the World and Jew of Extraordinary Fame Natalie Portman will play the twin sisters and advice columnists who went by the names “Dear Abby” and “Ann Landers” in a movie that she will direct herself.

Good grief.

Setting aside our bitterness that Portman will likely achieve this daunting feat while remaining ludicrously thin and French-looking, this is thrilling news. Real-life twins Esther and Pauline Friedman, born 1918, became American institutions after holding dueling advice columns for decades under the names “Ann Landers” (Esther) and “Dear Abby” (Pauline). Portman mildly resembles the twins in their early years, and her decision to cast herself in Jewish roles is, while not uncharacteristic of her, exciting. As we see a trend of non-Jewish actors playing specifically Jewish characters — see: Oscar Isaac as a Mossad spy, etcetera — it’s nice to see Portman elect to tell Jewish stories.

Plus, this could be her version of “Parent Trap.”

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

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