Natalie Portman is just one of the celebrities who are speaking out about the impact Director Mike Nichols had on their lives and careers.
In a statement, Natalie Portman said of Nichols, “He was the one who had the best words, the right hug for hard times, the funny comment to diffuse your pain.”
Portman continued, “He saved me again and again. He was the best way to be a person and an artist. And the most, most fun. I send my deepest love to Diane, Jenny, Max, Daisy and their children, who filled his days with light.”
Nichols was married to Diane Sawyer, his fourth wife, since 1988. He made such iconic films as The Graduate, Working Girl, The Birdcage and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Natalie Portman was only a teenager when her and Mike Nichols first worked together on the stage. He directed her in the play The Seagull, then they reunited for the film The Closer in 2004.
Natalie Portman said the mutual trust they shared helped them get through the film, which was full of dark and morbid themes, including a nude scene that was eventually cut.
“Well, back to the trust issue: When you trust someone, you”re willing to do everything and make mistakes and really expose yourself inside-out,” Portman said.
“So we made sort of a pact that before…while we would shoot, we would just do everything. and then he cut it the way he cut, showed it to me [to] see if I agreed, and that’s what happened. We both kept our parts of the deal.”
Mike Nichols was just as fond of working with Natalie Portman as she was of working with him.
He said of her acting abilities during Closer filming, “People don’t quite realize how remarkable an actress she is, because she looks so amazing, but she is.”
Mike Nichols died suddenly on Wednesday night. He will be sorely missed in the film and stage community.