I’ve always admired Natalie
Portman. Besides being this generation’s go-to gamine and heir
apparent to Audrey Hepburn, her public persona has been
one of a smart, responsible, civically minded and non-panty-flashing
young star. At 26, she already has a Golden Globe, an Academy Award nomination
and a Harvard degree. So if even Natalie is having a hard time getting
good scripts, you know something is rotten in the state of Hollywood.
press with co-star
Scarlett Johansson for their new film The Other Boleyn Girl,
Natalie bemoaned the lack of good roles for women.
“I’ve recently been getting
frustrated. [turns to Scarlett] I don’t know if you’ve had this
experience, but we’re probably seeing a lot of the same variety of
what’s out there, but I mean the number
of roles for strippers or prostitutes — or the opposite — which, is
like, ‘She’s the moral center of the film! She’s the pure one.
She’s the one that makes the man realize who he should be,’ you
know? That sort of dichotomy exists so strongly, it’s like the virgin/whore
thing evident to the greatest extent. So that’s really been bothering
Ahh, the old Madonna/whore
complex. Not sure what to do with that pesky female character, script
writers? Make her a virginal maternal figure. Oh, you want to get teenage
boys into the seats? Then totally make her a slut. Heck, this stuff
practically writes itself. While Natalie has managed to avoid most of
the stereotypical traps many actresses fall into early in their careers,
she has had a couple roles that fell roughly along those old battle
So what’s a young actress
looking for a long career to do? Well, besides working with a foundation that
finances women-owned businesses
in developing nations and starting your own vegan shoe line? She just has to keep looking.
“Sort of finding a character
who is complicated, like the women in (The Other Boleyn Girl),
is very, very exciting. Also, I love comedies so much, but any kind
of comedy the girl’s like ‘in fashion’ or she’s really into
clothes, or like, she just wants to get married. Those are not values
that I care to jump on the bandwagon of. I’d love to do a comedy.
I’d love to do a romantic comedy, but you don’t find something
where the woman has, like, a real job…. so yeah, it is frustrating,
but I also don’t want to bitch about it.”
No, please, keep bitching.
It’s not good to repress. I’ll happily wait.
Up next for
Natalie is My Blueberry Nights, which has already opened overseas
and will start screening in the States in April. The film, which also
stars Rachel Weisz and Norah Jones, centers on a cross-country
road trip. But plot, schmot: Any movie that puts Norah and Natalie in
the same bed is A-OK in my book.
After that, Natalie stars in
the war drama Brothers, about a man (played by Tobey Maguire)
who leaves to fight in Afghanistan and asks his brother (Jake Gyllenhaal
) to look after his wife (Natalie) and child. While the role sounds
interesting, as does the love triangle that develops, it’s called
Brothers and not Wife, so one could infer that the men’s
roles are at the film’s core.
So, do you agree with Natalie’s
assessment of female roles in Hollywood? And, judging by Natalie’s
hilarious skills in that now infamous SNL digital
short, who else
thinks we’re being cheated out of a great comedic performance? Let’s
relive the magic, for old times’ sake.