The Star Wars prequel films were some of the most anticipated events of the ’90s, except if you were Natalie Portman, who admits she hadn’t seen the movies until she was approached to play Padm? Amidala. Even if she wasn’t as aware of the franchise as other members of the cast, she recently recalled how the prominence of the franchise meant she was still somewhat aware of the legacy of the franchise. Even though she was only a teenager when she scored the role, she had already wowed audiences with her roles in projects like L?on: The Professional, Mars Attacks!, and Beautiful Girls, yet it was her Padm? performance that took her fame to all-new levels.
“I didn’t know the films at all before I was cast! I was aware of the lingo, as American culture is so immersed in Star Wars,” Portman shared with the Radio Times magazine, per Female First. “Even if you’ve never seen the movies, you know what Princess Leia buns are, what a lightsaber is, what a Jedi is, you know who Yoda and Obi-Wan are… you know all these words and names before you even see the films. But I only saw the films when I was approached to do them.”
Portman would go on to reprise her roles in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, with Padm?’s death in that third film entirely altering the trajectory of Anakin Skywalker towards embracing his life as Darth Vader. After her time in the galaxy far, far away, Portman focused more on smaller productions like Garden State, Closer, and V for Vendetta. She would win the Academy Award for Best Actress thanks to her performance in Black Swan and returned to the big-budget world as Jane Foster in Thor. After nearly a decade since her Thor: The Dark World appearance, she returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder.
As far as whether she would ever return to the galaxy far, far away, despite Padm?’s death, Portman confirmed just earlier this month on Watch What Happens Live that she would be open to the idea though that, in the almost 20 years since Revenge of the Sith, no one has asked her about reprising her role.
Stay tuned for updates on Portman’s possible future in the Star Wars franchise.