Why Natalie Portman Calls It 'Scary' Playing Iconic First Lady in Jackie

Natalie Portman from Jackie
Natalie Portman from Jackie

Natalie Portman Calls It Scary Playing Iconic First Lady in Jackie

Jacqueline Kennedy invented the modern First Lady. Exuding glamor, beauty, celebrity, the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr. emerged as an icon of politics and fashion. More than two decades after her death in 1002, she remains a tantalizing and intimidating subject for any actress who dares to play her.

“It was scary to take on someone who was so well known and well loved,” Natalie Portman, the star of the biopic “Jackie,” tells Made in Hollywood reporter Damaris Diaz. “People really know what she looked like and sounded like and walked like.  I was scared to try and approximate that because I had never done anything like that before in my life. But it was also a gift because there’s so much material on her, there’s so much to learn, there’s so much to absorb. She’s a fascinating woman with an incredible, complex emotional and intellectual life, so it was exciting to levitra link online rx get to play.”

Jacqueline Kennedy (left) and Natalie Portman

Even for somebody about which so much has been written and explored, “Jackie” reveals new sides of the First Lady who inhabited the White House from 1961 until her husband’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.

“It was interesting to see how much she controlled the narrative,” explains Portman. “Despite them being so public and so iconic and so televised for the first time, she was really controlling what was out and what was private. Even all of her interviews she edited herself. She prevented some of them being released. The ones that were released, there’s big chunks missing that she personally deleted. It’s fascinating and shows her level of intelligence and understanding of public image.”

Natalie Portman Says Jackie’s Love for JFK Jr. Stretched Long After His Death

In the end, events spun out of even her formidable powers of control with her husband’s violent death in Dallas as she sat next to him. Very much a love story, “Jackie” also explores the many contrast’s in the First Lady’s life.

“It was really special how much she really did love her husband to the point that even when he was gone she was still trying to protect him and trying to take care of him and take care of his legacy,” Portman says. “I think for me the most fun part was just how moved she was by beauty. She loved the details of the decor in the house when she was doing the White House restoration. She loved the way she presented herself with her fashion. Then, of course, when the ugliest thing in the world happens to someone who’s  so aesthetically sensitive: What does that do to her?”

One think Jackie Kennedy may not have loved, however, is a movie about her. “I know she was a very private person,” says Portman, “so I imagine it wouldn’t be the most fun for her.”