Natalie Portman says realising she doesn’t have to please everyone with her movies has make acting a “whole new experience”.
The actress is promoting her movie Black Swan at the moment, a dark tale about a disturbed ballerina. She was first approached about the project ten years ago, but is glad it didn’t come to fruition until now. The 29-year-old thinks she was at exactly the right time in her life to play the character of Nina Sayers when shooting began.
“I think having the experience of my 20s, almost my whole 20s, when I did the film was really an absolute asset. Going from this childlike state of wanting to please people... I started as a child actress and you want to make everyone happy and it’s almost like that pageant thing, where you see the little kids do their dance and then look right away at their mom like, ‘How did I do?’ That’s how you feel as a child actor, that you’re always looking for that approval,” she told Cover Media. “To get to that point where you’re really trying to make yourself happy and trying to fulfil yourself through your performance is a whole new experience.”
Although Natalie thinks her performance wouldn’t have been as strong if Black Swan had been filmed a decade ago, she admits certain aspects of it would have been easier. She found scenes where Nina is feeling worried and anxious difficult, as those emotions are so removed from how she is now.
“I really gained that in my late 20s and it gave me a perspective that really helped with the film,” she said. “But it also made the earlier parts of the film, where she’s young and insecure and naive and trying to please everyone, all the more difficult because it felt like a regression of sorts.”
Black Swan is released in the UK on January 21.