Portman accepting her Oscar for Black Swan. Photograph: Jason Merritt/ Getty Images
A directorial debut with A Tale of Love and Darkness( 2013 ), based on Amos Ozs autobiographical fiction, received respectful reviews. She has starred in some recent duds Knight of Cups, Janes Got a Gun but remains in the enviable position of toggling between lucrative blockbusters, such as Thor, and critically acclaimed fare with statuette-potential.
She has worked with -Alist directors Luc Besson, Mike Nichols, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Terrence Malick but quotes Larran, a Chilean, who may win Oscar nominations for both Jackie and the Pablo Neruda biopic Neruda( the latter in the foreign-language category ), as perhaps the picking of the bunch. Pablo is one of the best, if not the best, director that Ive ever worked with. He has an unbelievably original point of view. He sees things like nobody else. The directions he devotes are things I would never think of myself. He knows how to create tension in every scene, and find humour in the darkness, or vice versa.
Cinema has a fetish for putting idealised girls through the wringer, and in the process reducing them to victim or kick-ass hero, but Larran and Oppenheim let her Jackie Kennedy to be multiple, contradictory things, tells Portman. She can be brave, and self-interested, and vulnerable, and super-tough, and sensual, and cold, and all of these things at once because thats how human being are. A lot of cinemas that try for a feminist portrait will only make a woman be really tough. Well, thats not feminist because its not allowing the woman to be a human being. No ones only tough.
For Jackie, Portman excavates out psychology texts and read up on self, identity and memory. It was so complicated for her to have such a public identity. But of course[ it was] one that she put out. And one that was manipulated by others. Memory can further splinter a sense of self, she tells. For instance, Jackie Kennedy apparently could not recollect scrambling on to the back of the car immediately after the shooting. But there are images of that, so it happened. How terrifying it is to be in a state where youre doing something but cant remember it and the world knows it exists[ yet] how quickly she overcame it. This survival instinct came in.
Portman bristles when people say the world would be better if run by girls. No. Were human being. There are good ones, there are bad ones, and everyone is going to be a mix of everything. We should know by now that female leaders arent inherently better people or inherently better anything. I dont think there are gender differences in the quality of work of anything as artists, as business people, as human being. Its simply humen. And girls have been excluded from many opportunities.
Hollywood, she tells, is a major delinquent. Every year its exclusively male-directed, written and filmed movies that were talking about in awardings season. Not that men shouldnt be making cinemas, she smiles. I love watching mens cinemas. Its just crazy that there is such a minority of status of women voices out there. Everyone has a responsibility to promote inclusion, she tells. If person notices that theres only one girl at the table they need to make a change. Or if they notice that there are no minorities getting prominent roles in movie they need to make a change.
Portman tells she would love to direct again, but first things first. I will be having some maternity leave. I need to write, to take some time, get a little focus.
With Rogue One spinning the Star Wars franchise back in time, Portman could, in theory, return as Queen Amidala, a comeback likely to cause ripplings in the force given the prequels unloved status. She has not watched Rogue One( Not yet; Im dying to) and at first audios noncommittal about a return to the role. No one has approached me about it at all, as far as I know.
Would she accept an invitation? Of course I feel very lucky to have been part of the Star Wars cosmo and the myth thats close to many peoples lives. So she would accept? I think theyre doing an amazing undertaking expand the cinemas. Sure.
Jackie is released in the UK on 20 January .