Natalie Portman: “I love science and superpowers”

Natalie Portman hadn’t been back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for ten years. Thanks to “Thor: Love & Thunder” by Taika Waititi, the fourth film dedicated to the god of thunder played by Chris Hemsworth, not only has he made peace with the character of Jane Foster, the astrophysicist who makes Odin’s son fall in love with him, but she also took the hammer, the Mjöllnir, becoming the Mighty Thor. Together they must face Gorr, the butcher of gods (a name that says a whole program), played by a Christian Bale who has undergone yet another extreme physical transformation.

Oscar winner Natalie Portman agreed to wear the superhero costume especially for her children: “It’s very rare that children really love their parents’ work!”, She said in Rome, where she not only presented the film, but also shot an epic video in the excavations of Ostia Antica, posing as a deity in the ruins, while a band of female musicians only plays “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns N ‘Roses, pillar of the soundtrack of “Thor: Love & Thunder “. And again: «Generally my children are never interested in the projects I do. This time it was different, so much so that they came with me to the set. There were everyone’s children: Taika’s, Chris, Christian, mine. They all ran together on the set ».

Did you miss the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

“It is a joy to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was a special set. I think you can see: everyone was always laughing. It’s great to feel the public’s affection for these films. By now they know the mythology and it’s nice to be part of it ».

Thor has transformed a lot over the years: from a Shakespearean hero he has become almost a comedian. Is it the secret of his success?

“I think Thor likes him so much thanks to Chris Hemsworth – he’s one of those people who grab attention. He is charismatic and a very good actor. He also has a great sense of humor: he can entertain anyone. Despite the pitfalls of success he has had, he is an even better person than when we last saw each other. Taika has managed to create a very particular genre: he combines things that we would never imagine would work together. He has both a quirky sense of humor and great emotional depth. That’s why an action-packed love story that even has horror elements works so well. He has an imagination and a sensitivity capable of making all this blend well. His sense of humor in him is extraordinary: he is never at anyone’s expense. Never”.

How did you find your Jane Foster?

“I’ve read Jason Aaron’s comics about Mighty Thor. I talked a lot with Taika about how we could bring her to the screen. I was ready for anything on set: Taika is very spontaneous. It was the beginning of the study and it was all a great surprise. Unfortunately, women are still underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. To be able to play someone who loves and conveys a passion for science in films like these is very exciting for me. Being able to play a character who is both an astrophysicist and a heroine is truly exceptional ».

There are many types of families in “Thor: Love & Thunder”. What is family forthe?

“Like Jane, I too have a good dose of workaholic but luckily I also have my family, which gives me so much joy and reminds me of everything that is close to my heart. I appreciate that Taika in the film explores all forms of love: love between friends, romantic love, love for oneself, love between parents and children. The meaning of life is there ».

Speaking of love between friends: in this film he also found Tessa Thompson, who plays the role of King Valkyrie.

“Valkyrie of Tessa is probably my favorite superhero. I can’t wait to see a film dedicated completely to her. We worked together on “Annihilation” (Alexander Garland movie on Netflix, ed), right before she did “Thor: Ragnarock”, and we remained friends. Finding a friend on set was extraordinary. She is bright and has a great sense of humor. My scenes with her in the film are my favorite ones. My love for her is eternal. “

One thing Jane Foster would definitely approve of is her book club, Natalie’s Book Club, which also has an Instagram account with nearly 60,000 followers, where she recommends books and does direct with writers. Is reading a superpower?

«I love reading very much. I think it has an almost purifying effect. We spend so much time with our eyes on the screens that a book is an opportunity to focus. There are few experiences like this, which allow you to immerse yourself completely in your world and your imagination thanks to the guidance of an author ».

We are in Italy, the country of football. You have a team: Angel City FC. How important is it to show that girls can be good at sports?

“Girls and women know this. They just need to get the attention they deserve. We have had incredible athletes for centuries: you just have to give them the right stage, the right compensation and television space. It is a very exciting moment: we have many players who are true leaders ».

Do you think that making films like this, owning a football team, could be a form of activism today?

“Someone told me that art and activism are the same thing: let’s imagine a world that doesn’t exist. They are twin paths ».

And how do you manage to balance this with “self branding” and marketing? It’s also a theme of the film: marketing can sometimes lead to the dark side. How do you keep a balance between these things?

“I try not to think about it and be myself. That’s all I can be! Certainly each of us presents to the world a version of ourselves that is different from who we really are. I don’t show my biggest flaws in public, of course. But at the same time we are human beings, we are not objects: it is the best we can do ».

Every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is never really finished until the end of the credits. And here is a post credit scene that concerns you. Do you already know what future his character will have?

“I can’t say anything because I really don’t know anything! When we saw the film in London with Taika, and we saw that final scene, we also looked at each other with Chris saying: ah, really ?! Nobody knew anything about it. One thing is certain: there will be the fifth film about Thor ».

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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