Shortly after it was announced that director Mike Nichols had passed away, actress Natalie Portman released a statement to E! News about Nichols’ passing. “There’s nothing good enough I can write that would do Mike justice,” she said in the statement, which was released last Thursday. Portman continued, “He was the one who had the best words, the right hug for hard times, and the funny comment to diffuse your pain. 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.”
On Saturday, November 22, Portman made an appearance at the home of Nichols and his wife Diane Sawyer to pay her respects. Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Hamm, Meryl Streep, Paul Simon, Candice Bergen, and Emma Stone were among the guests who arrived to mourn Nichols’ passing.
— Philly.com Ent (@PhillydotcomENT) November 23, 2014
When she was still a teenager, Portman worked with Nichols in a stage production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. Eight years later, the two collaborated again on the film version of the play Closer. The film also stars Jude Law, Julia Roberts, and Clive Owen. In the film, Portman plays a stripper who becomes entangled in a web of infidelity. She received her first Oscar nomination for her work in the film. Nichols also won the Golden Globe for Best Director.
The director famously opted not to include a nude scene that Portman shot for the film. In an interview, 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.”