When it comes to major franchise, it doesn't get any bigger than Star Wars, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe following right behind it. Both of them are enormous in scope and adored by fans, with a number of actors lending a hand to bring each franchise to life. Natalie Portman is one of the few -- perhaps even the only -- to have had starring roles in both, having played Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequels and Jane Foster in the Thor movies. Recently, the actress opened up about why filming these big blockbusters were a challenge for her.
Known for her dramatic roles just as much as her parts in blockbusters, Natalie Portman once again has some serious Oscar buzz revolving around her portrayal of a widowed Jackie Kennedy in Jackie. Portman sat down with Deadline to discuss the film, and the preparation that went into playing America's most famous widow. A movie like Jackie is on an entirely different plane of existence than Star Wars, and Portman revealed that it's working with visual affects that is actually a bigger acting challenge to her. While being a part of those movies was incredible to her because of the imagination it awakens in its audience (she saw that first hand with her son), it can be hard for her to be that imaginative while filming.
As an actor, it's like a completely different scale. Because when you're making those movies, you're working with so much blue-screen and so much fantasy your imagination has to be so much larger. It's really challenging for me.
As in the case of the Star Wars prequels, there are instances where those films were done entirely on blue screen sets, with little to no assistance to help the actors. Imagine you're acting on a balcony with Hayden Christiansen, and you have to pretend that you're looking at some kind of beautiful hilly landscape when it's really just a blank screen. It's not so easy to pretend that he's the love of your life now, is it? Portman goes on to elaborate that for her, it's always been difficult to figure out how to act with her imagination on those blue screen sets.
I don't feel like I've gotten it yet. I don't feel like I've understood it yet. And so, it is something I'm fascinated by because I'm really challenged by it more than anything almost. Because when you're in a room that looks like a room and has all the things a room has in it, you can interact with all that stuff, and all that stuff does what it does in life. You don't have to imagine anything. You're just in the emotional state of your character. And when you're doing those blue-screen movies, you have to imagine everything outside and within. You have to create the whole world. It's like being a kid again.
That's not to say that Natalie Portman would ever be against starring in another Thor movie. Her Star Wars days are behind her, but the MCU is ripe for the future. Though she won't be reprising her character in Thor: Ragnarok, she's open to coming back as Jane Foster if she ever "figures out" how to act with all that blue screen.