Natalie Portman had her first directorial debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
While the film, A Tale of Love and Darkness, received mixed reviews, Natalie Portman is still proud that she has accomplished what many actors only dream of.
Natalie Portman’s movie is based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Amos Oz. The novel details his childhood during the period surrounding the formation of the Israeli state in 1948. It focuses on his relationship with his mother, Fania, who committed suicide when Oz was 12.
Natalie Portman, herself, played Fania.
Of her filming experience, Natalie Portman said it was quite a challenge, but those surrounding her made it easier.
Natalie Portman said, “It’s been really challenging but I think that every challenge has helped me grow more and luckily I’ve had many people around me – my family, my friends and my crew who helped me so much throughout that I felt so well supported that it was never an existential crisis during it.”
When Natalie Portman was asked why she wanted to direct the film, she said, “The way to feel alive is to change and to try new things, to stimulate yourself, to be afraid, do things you’re afraid of.”
In a different interview, Natalie Portman expanded on why it was such a challenge for her. She admitted that films directed by women are still sometimes assumed to be “vanity projects” in a “completely imbalanced” industry.
When Natalie Portman began the project, she didn’t realize how difficult it would really be.
She said, “To take on a great challenge you have to have a great deal of ignorance and naivete.”
However, Natalie Portman knew that making a movie and putting herself in a starring role might look like a form of vanity. She recalled an example from her childhood.
She said, “I remember as a kid when Barbra Streisand would make movies that she was in and people would say, ‘Oh it’s vanity, it’s a vanity thing.'”
She continued, “I think there was a shyness about being a woman and putting myself in it (the film) that it would come off that way.”
What do you think about Natalie Portman directing and starring in A Tale of Love and Darkness?