Actress Natalie Portman became a household name for her role as Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
Although the movies helped her reach international fame, the prequel trilogy was widely criticized for its dialogue and use of greenscreen. However, since the launch of the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” Disney+ series earlier this year, fans have given the prequel trilogy a warmer reception.
While promoting her newest film, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the “Black Swan” actress opened up about the critical reception the prequel trilogy received upon its release.
Natalie Portman Says The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Was ‘Slaughtered Critically’
In 1994, Portman’s first feature film, “The Professional” received negative reviews. She then followed it up with her role in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, which also received two thumbs down from critics. Although she recognized that both films were “slaughtered critically” during their initial release, she was pleased to see that both films are now “beloved” by fans.
According to Culture Slate, Portman said:
“I mean, I had it with ‘The Professional’ too. It was slaughtered critically, and now, despite having been in Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ movies, it’s the main thing people come up to me about. That and ‘Star Wars’ are two examples of things that when they came out, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is a disaster.’ And then 20 years later — actually, 30 years later for ‘The Professional’ — it’s beloved.”
Although she has left the galaxy far, far away in her rearview mirror, the “V for Vendetta” star is going to reprise her role as Jane Foster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the newest “Thor” film, “Love and Thunder.” Fans have already seen photos of Portman transforming into the character of the Mighty Thor, and wielding the Mjölnir, the hammer of the Nordic God.
Her role in the “Thor” movies has also faced heavy criticism. Culture Slate reported that “Thor: The Dark World” is still labeled as one of the worst entries in the MCU to date, which is what caused Portman to step away from her character. However, after director Taika Waititi promised to expand her role in the fourth Thor movie, she decided to return… and gain some muscle to do it!
Natalie Portman Had To Beef Up For Her Role In ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’
In an interview with Variety, the 41-year-old actress revealed that she was asked to get buff to reprise her role, which she described as the opposite of what she had to do to prepare for her role as a ballet dancer in “Black Swan.”
“On ‘Black Swan,’ I was asked to get as small as possible,” she recalled. “Here, I was asked to get as big as possible. That’s an amazing challenge, even for my state of mind as a woman.”
She also noted the mental differences in having a bigger size, saying, “To have this reaction and be seen as big, you realize, ‘Oh, this must be so different, to walk through the world like this.'” She continued, “When you’re small — and also, I think, because I started as a kid — a lot of times I feel young or little or, like, a pat-on-the-head kind of person. And I present myself that way, too, because of that.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair in August 2021, Portman revealed that her strength training sessions were “really fun,” and she enjoyed pushing herself to lift heavy weights. Since she is a vegan, she almost talked about adding fitness supplements into her shakes to meet her protein goals.
“We did a lot of weight training and a lot of protein shakes — heavyweight training that I haven’t ever done before,” she explained. “It was a lot of both agility work and also strength work.”
Portman said that she worked with a trainer for four months to get her size. “It was really fun,” she recalled. “I worked with a trainer, Naomi Pendergast, for, I think, four months before shooting, and then obviously all the way through filming.”
“It definitely helps you get into character, and it’s definitely changed the way I move,” she continued. “You can walk differently; you feel different. I mean, it’s so wild to feel strong for the first time in my life.”