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Natalie Portman requires ritual to maintain sanity on the job

Published 15/07/2016

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman

The celeb finds it challenging to keep adapting to different locales

Actress-and-mother Natalie Portman feels she is "woefully" unanchored thanks to her ever-changing career.

The Academy Award-winning Black Swan star shares five-year-old son Aleph with her ballet dancer husband Benjamin Millepied and although her profession is extremely exciting, she often misses the comforts of repetition and familiarity while away at work.

In an email she sent to novelist Jonathan Safran Foer for a T, New York Times magazine article, Natalie explained: "I am woefully lacking ritual in my life, which is among the hardest things and best things about my work. I will never have the boredom or repetitiveness of an office. But every job takes me to a new place with a new schedule, and it requires a reinvention of ritual each time, even more so with a family. Every time I go on location, I have to figure out where to live, what activities are available for my son, how and when we will travel from our home base. You learn how deeply grounding ritual is when you lose it."

Her yearning for fulfilling routine means she is actually fond of doing household chores.

"When I’m not working, I’m pretty much exclusively with my family, so my rituals have to do with school, meal preparation, playdates, bedtime," she shares. "Weekends are best for ritual, because I own them completely. I do the whole week’s laundry, which I love because it’s a task with a clear beginning and end."

However, Portman also likes to infuse her grounding ritual activities with fun and games too, noting: "And then we spend the weekend together as a family — usually somewhere in nature, often with friends who have children. Lots of cooking."

However, no matter what she does, it seems the passing of time will always pose a challenge for Natalie.

"I like weekends better when I’m working because then they truly feel like I’m regenerating energy, whereas when I’m not working, time blends into one continuous, undifferentiated stream," she details.

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