DALLAS MORNING NEWS: You might have read about it in the recent Parade magazine cover story penned by the actress. Except – shocking – she didn’t actually write it, even though the words “By Natalie Portman” adorn the cover. “They do an interview with you then sort of write it for you,” she says by phone. “They claim that you wrote it, but that’s not really how it works. They interview you like you’re interviewing me, then they just write it in the first person.”
OK, so nobody was thinking about nominating Parade for a Pulitzer anyway. But it seems to have problems fact-checking press releases as well.
The Parade piece contains the following nugget: “I’m not someone who has a lot of regrets, but last year I did something that I wasn’t comfortable with, and I’m really sorry I didn’t listen to my intuition. There was a scene in a movie that felt inappropriate for me, but I didn’t want to make waves. So I let myself get talked into it, even though it shook me up.”
The Parade folks – but probably not the ones who wrote the article – assumed the movie in question was Hotel Chevalier, Wes Anderson’s short showing before his feature The Darjeeling Limited. Ms. Portman is nude for much of Chevalier opposite Jason Schwartzman. She must have regrets now.
Not so much. She was actually alluding to Goya’s Ghosts, the Spanish Inquisition film in which Ms. Portman’s character is tortured, naked, on the rack.
Tough scene. Except it isn’t Ms. Portman.
“It wasn’t the film I was uncomfortable doing,” she says. “They shot a body double without telling me, and then they put it in the movie. I was very upset, and they sort of talked me into allowing them to use it. Then of course it ended up online on the gross Web sites: ‘Watch this, it’s a torture scene.’ So it wasn’t even the movie so much as the way it was misappropriated afterward.”
As for Hotel Chevalier, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Schwartzman?
“I love that movie,” she says. “I’m really proud of it. I’m a big Wes fan, and Jason was really awesome. It was really fun to work in Paris for a few days, and I’m happy that’s the way it turned out. They’re very specific, and they make me laugh. It’s very real. I just really like their movies.” MORE