Natalie Portman’s Career Cursed by “The Phantom Menace”

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In a recent New York Magazine article honoring Mike Nichols, actress Natalie Portman spoke briefly on how the film director helped her in pursuing her dreams. While speaking of how her roles in the Star Wars prequels affected her career, Portman shared some not so positive remarks.

From the NY Mag article:

"“Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, “Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.” And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. I worked with Milos Forman a few years later. He said, “Mike saved me. He wrote a letter so that I could get asylum in the U.S.” He did that for 50 people, and it doesn’t make any one of us feel less special.”"

While it has been over a decade since the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, it seems as though Natalie Portman doesn’t hold the film in high regard. It’s true that the Star Wars prequels are maligned, unfairly at times. However, Portman has definitely found her share of success following her stint as Padme Amidala.

Hot on the heels of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Portman starred in the Zach Braff snoozer Garden State in 2004. Despite the movie being sort of a slow bummer, the lovely young actress shines with a subtly hilarious performance.

Check out this scene from 2004’s Garden State, in which Natalie Portman introduced the world to the musical stylings of The Shins:

Natalie Portman continued to find successful film roles despite her involvement with Star Wars. Her turn as the tragic waitress “Alice” in 2004’s Closer garnered critical acclaim. Portman then filled the role of action star in the high grossing V for Vendetta in 2005. Since the release of Revenge of the Sith [also in 2005], she has worked with many different directors, including Wes Anderson and Darren Aronofsky. In fact, the actress won an Oscar for her leading role in Aronofsky’s Black Swan in 2011.

It’s suffice to say that Natalie Portman’s acting career hasn’t been affected too greatly by her roles in the Star Wars prequels. Perhaps if she hadn’t been cast as Anakin Skywalker’s love interest, she might not have achieved the level of stardom that she now holds.

What do you think of Portman’s remarks, Dork Siders? Was she really that bad in The Phantom Menace? Do you think she owes any of her success to George Lucas?

Leave us a comment below!