By the time she was 19, Natalie Portman could be considered almost a veteran Hollywood actress. She had been making movies since she was 13 when Luc Besson put her at the center of The Professional Leon 1994 From there he went on to work with directors at the top of Hollywood such as Michael Mann (Heat, 1995), Ted Demme Beautiful Girls, 1996, Woody Allen Everyone Says I Love Your, 1996), Tim Burton Mars Attacks 1996 or George Lucas the Star Wars prequels.
However, participating in a Chekhov play, The Seagull, in a cast with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Christopher Walken still imposed considerably on him. Even more so if we add the direction of a legend of the stages and the big screen like Mike Nichols, who commanded this montage in New York. However, as can be read in Mike Nichols, A Life, the new biography of the director of The Graduate written by Mark Harris, Portman recalls that Nichols made her feel comfortable and gain confidence in herself despite being surrounded by colossi of interpretation.
According to the author of the book, in her moments of insecurity Portman turned to Nichols and felt sheltered in a way she had not experienced before in Hollywood. “He was the only male mentor without any trace of drooling that I had recalled the actress.
I was 19 years old and I hadn’t done anything yet that I needed to document myself for other than being Anne Frank in the 1997 Broadway musical The Diary of Anne Frank. I would see Phil Seymour Hoffman filling his notebook with questions. Meryl Streep inventing songs in case her character took to crooning explains Natalie Portman in the book via IndieWire. I think Mike Nichols was a true feminist. He didn’t look at you in any way other than as a creative, interesting, and talented person. It’s wonderful quality and very difficult to find in directors of his generation.
A few years later, Natalie Portman and Mike Nichols collaborated again on Closer (2004), the film adaptation of a play by Patrick Marber where the actress played a striptease dancer it was the first Oscar nomination of his career.
Nichols was especially careful and protective of Portman, especially in the strip club sequence. I wanted to cover my ass even more than my own father Portman said at the time, Harris relates in the biography. She made sure she was comfortable with the angles, the costumes, and the movements. She walked with her and they planned the scene until she felt ready.
What He did for me God, I hope one day I have that ability to inspire and guide someone else Natalie Portman concludes her memory of Mike Nichols. The director’s biography of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Graduate Silkwood About Henry and many more classics have been edited by Penguin Press.