Natalie Portman has been a star since childhood, but in recent years she has found a platform to speak strong truths about her industry – and herself. The actress and face of Miss Dior sits down with marie claire.
The first film you ever made was the hit man drama The Professional, catapulting you to stardom at just 12 years old. What advice would you give that young girl?
Don’t try to please everyone. It took me a long time to move past that and focus on myself instead of worrying about other people. I would say it took me until I was over 30 to work that out.
What helped you get to that point?
Finding the right partner (husband Benjamin Millepied) had a lot to do with it. Someone who listens, who is completely egalitarian, a life partner. Also, becoming a mother. Our children have changed my priorities by making me less available to other people. I had to learn to look after myself and my own.
Your husband directed the choreography on “Vox Lux”. Were there benefits to working as a couple?
There’s nothing specific, apart from the fact that you can do it from home. It’s quite funny to go from the relaxed intimacy of family life to concentrating at work. And living with a choreographer has saved me lots of time. Benjamin knows what I can and cannot do. He knows my physical strengths and weaknesses by heart.
You’re turning 38 this year. What sort of woman do you see yourself as being today?
One who loves change, loves to explore and loves to love. I’m also a woman of solitude. I’m an only child and I’ve always been used to and needed to spend time alone. I find ideas in solitude. It’s probably why late nights are my favourite part of the day. I finally have time for myself, to read, watch a film or daydream.
You’ve been the face of Miss Dior since 2015. What are your best memories?
There have been so many from the beginning that it’s hard to say right off the top of my head. I’d say the film shoot at the Hotel du Cap, in Antibes (in 2015). We used a helicopter and there was something so beautiful and extravagant with that wall of flowers. That’s still a sublime moment. To me, Dior symbolises strength of character as much as a bold style of femininity.
Speaking of bold femininity, in your speech at the Los Angeles Women’s March in January 2018, you called for a “revolution of desire”. Do you feel it is happening?
I think every woman should feel safe, free to express her desires and dress however she likes without being violently attacked. It’s such an obvious thing, but no woman should be afraid of being what she wants to be or of acting how she likes, or have to ask permission. We are only in the middle of a long process of consciousness raising but I think the #MeToo movement has been a breakthrough.
Read the full interview in the May issue of marie claire, on sale now.