Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally intimidated by Natalie Portman.
It’s hard to talk about the way female celebrities’ appearances affect their young fans without either blaming a woman for the work of a larger system or blaming the larger system, and snatching away the woman’s very agency.
But, come on, hasn’t everyone had the experience of looking at Natalie Portman and then feeling bad about your face, your body, your earlobes, your foot daintiness, your education, and your career for 10 hours?
It’s no one’s fault per se that Natalie Portman looks like she was hewn from marble cut by a laser printer and has an Oscar, a ballerina husband, a trillion dollars, a Harvard degree, and can count Bibi Netanyahu among her frenemies. Portman is 37 years old and has slowly but surely been getting woke. Here are her wildest comments from the cover story for her upcoming Oscar bait movie “Vox Lux” with Vanity Fair:
On starting secret celebrity consciousness raising groups after #MeToo with Bree Larson and Reese Witherspoon:
“It’s made us come together. We’re actively gathering. Just the power of us getting to know other women in our own industry and sharing information that can help us be safer, more productive, more successful.”
On her explosive choice to decline to attend the Israeli Genesis Prize awards ceremony:
“I’d like to clarify I have no issue traveling to the country. They may have issues with it now, but I don’t…I was choosing not to attend an event where I was supposed to be onstage with Prime Minister Netanyahu, sitting next to him, which felt like an endorsement. So there is a distinction.”
And on her relationship to Israel:
“It’s very complicated, like family—you love it more than anything else in the world and you also are more critical of it than anything else in the world.”
On her beef with her former boss, one Alan Dershowitz:
“I pretty much disagree with him on everything he’s doing right now…Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising to see.”
“I feel like I totally ended up in female tropes, like Lolita. And clearly I was part of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl coining. I find it very upsetting to be part of that.”
It’s a new era for Natalie Portman. I think we’re no longer near the planet of Naboo.
Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny