Since her days as Queen Amidala in the “Star Wars” prequels, Natalie Portman has grown up, choosing edgy roles in film such as “Closer” and “V For Vendetta.” But in the new issue of V magazine, the actress said she’d be getting revealing on screen like never before in Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming “Black Swan.”
“It’s not raunchy — it’s extreme,” she said of a lesbian scene with co-star Mila Kunis in the 2010 drama.
Portman also has a sex scene — her first — in her next movie, December’s “Brothers,” and she said the decision to go more intense with her roles has come with age.
“I was figuring out my own sexual identity, likes and dislikes and all that stuff, and it’s weird to be doing stuff on film as you’re figuring it out,” the 28-year-old star said of her earlier, less racy work. “Also, being a sexual object when you’re a kid is really uncomfortable. After (debuting in 1994’s) ‘The Professional,’ I was already getting creepy letters.”
Still, Portman said her real life has had plenty of wild moments — just not ones that made it into the media.
“The formative time of my public image happened before there was Facebook, Twitter, all of these gossip sites. I had my drunken nights and dating a million people, but there wasn’t that attention then,” she said.
The actress also spent much of her time away from the limelight, attending college at Harvard — a choice that helped her be choosier with her career.
“Going to school was a great barrier to doing too much,” she said. “I had one slot open every summer. That makes you really, really picky.”
While her film choices may have taken a turn toward the dark side, Portman said her lighter role in the “Star Wars” films remains a learning experience.
“My acting was not exactly respected in those films,” she noted. “But those are the moments when you want to prove yourself again. When people think I suck, it helps.”
Beyond the dramatic roles, she hasn’t been a stranger to more upbeat material in recent years. She has upcoming parts in the comic book tent pole “Thor” as well as the medieval marijuana comedy “Your Highness,” opposite James Franco. With her career in full swing, Portman said she hopes to stick around for a while.
“You see people who were stars five years ago and already they’re waning,” she said. “As actresses approach 40, it starts becoming really, really difficult.”
She has a ways to go before that, but Portman admitted she could be self-conscious of her looks.
“If I have a pimple I want to get rid of it,” she said, although of the idea of ever getting plastic surgery she added, “I would hope not.”
Despite her gorgeous looks, Portman, who now has her own production company, Handsomecharlie Films, said it’s another quality that has made her famous.
“To be successful, you need the desire to be successful,” she said. “Ambition can be a dirty word, but it’s pretty much more important than anything.”