Natalie Portman is an idol to many who have watched her movies, but she admits hating to watch herself on the screen. The actress revealed in one of her interviews that she “thinks directing has been good for her because it has forced her to look closely at her own performances”.
Image: Natalie Portman
Portman made her directorial debut with ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ – an adaptation of Israeli author Amos Oz’s autobiography, which is told in Hebrew – but she also plays the main character’s mother and thinks it was a valuable experience being forced to watch her own performance in a “constructively critical” way as the filmmaker.
The movie ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ isn’t actually her first. Back in 2008 Portman directed a short movie called Eve.
‘Eve’ featured legendary actress Lauren Bacall–a Hollywood movie icon who has a staggering 72 roles to her credit over the span of her career that dates all the way back to 1944.
Bacall has worked with tons of directors and can be said to have vast experience in acting and directing. She was however, disappointed after working with an inexperienced Portman who was said to be indecisive way back in 2008.
Talking about her experience with Bacall, she said: “I must be honest: She did not like me, but I loved her and admired her so much. She sensed in me what I learned later about myself … that I had a really hard time saying what I wanted and being the boss.”
35-year-old Natalie admits that directing her movies after this long time and watching herself back in that way has made her a lot kinder to herself when it comes to her acting performances. She has indeed grown to the star of her dream.
She said: “It’s hard [to see myself on screen]. And I think it was good for me because normally I can’t watch myself at all, and watching myself makes me cringe, and I cover my face, and it’s very hard to watch.
“I think people who aren’t in film experience that when they hear their voice on an answering machine or something.
“So to have to watch myself in a way that was constructively critical was really good for me because it made me a little bit more easy on myself because I wasn’t allowed to walk away screaming.”
However, the Hollywood star made it clear that the experience doesn’t mean she’ll have to watch movies she did in the past. There’s nothing anyone can do about them, she admits.
She told Business Insider: “No. That will never happen.
“But as a director you have to — you don’t have the option of saying, ‘I’m not watching this.’ “
Image: Natalie Portman
While the actress who played her first action thriller in ‘Leon: The Professional’ insists she hasn’t got a full career plan in place, she’d love to direct again in the future.
She said: “I would love to [direct again]. I don’t have a particular plan right now because I’ve been so focused on getting this into the world that I feel now that it’s coming out that I can really think about that more.”