Back in 2011, when she was campaigning for an Oscar, I dubbed Natalie Portman “Natalie Never” because her combination belly-cuppy pregnancy and aggressive trophy hunting turned me off so hard I couldn’t deal with her at all. A proto-I Can’t, if you will. Since then, though, Portman has been less in my face and while she still provokes eye rolls, she’s generally tolerable these days. Or she was—I’m starting to feel like Natalie Never is emerging from her chrysalis, fully formed and renewed for another round of gag-inducing nothing-speak.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Portman called her Oscar—which she campaigned HARD for—a “false idol” and claimed she doesn’t even know where it is anymore. We’re supposed to see her as more mature, more focused, moving behind the camera as a producer with multiple projects in the pipeline and making her directorial debut at Cannes this year. She’s done the Hollywood thing and the Oscar thing, and now it’s all about the art thing—except she keeps signing onto award-baity projects. Last week it was announced that Portman will star as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a biopic about the Supreme Court Justice’s fight for equality for women, and now it’s been announced that Portman will also portray Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in a biopic about the days immediately after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Both projects have scripts from the Black List, both are being set up as prestige vehicles for Portman.
So yeah, she’s over it, she’s not worshipping the false idol of Oscar anymore, except for the part where she’s booking a lot of roles sure to get her name into the Oscar conversation. Purely coincidental, I’m sure. Welcome back, Natalie Never. I have not missed you.