Natalie Portman, Israeli-American and Academy-Award-winning actress, recently said in NY Magazine "'Star Wars' hurt my career." Click here to read the excerpt I came across on MSN. I always find these tidbits of information from the entertainment world intriguing- akin to which actors and actresses turned down major film roles and who got the roles instead.
Blockbuster movies: big break or big bust?
On one hand, starring in a blockbuster movie franchise, like Star Wars, helps to skyrocket a career. Even though there are no guarantees but instead huge risks involved in the movie industry, starring in an already successful series of films has a bit of built-in opportunity for future career endeavors. On the other hand, one of these aforementioned risks is having peers, future employers and collaborators question one's acting competency, as this genre of movie is known more for its entertainment value than for its quality of acting.
Did Star Wars really damage Natalie Portman's career? Let's examine this statement more in depth.
An examination of Hollywood success
This analysis begins post 2005, the year Natalie Portman's involvement in the movie chain ended. Portman claims that after Star Wars, finding and being hired for movie roles became more difficult. The feedback from the entertainment community was that she was perceived as a bad actress in these movies. Again, there are no guarantees in the movie business; therefore, what actor has not had a hard time obtaining work at some point in their career?
It is important to note that Portman has continued to work steadily since 2005. Not only has she worked, but she has gained recognition for several film roles. Closer and Black Swan garnered Portman the Golden Globe and Academy Awards. During the post-Star Wars period, Wikipedia notes Portman did voice-over work for the iconic, animated television series The Simpsons and obtained a hosting role on Saturday Night Live. She appeared shaven-headed in V for Vendetta to much publicity and also became the youngest jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.
Taking a step back into the time during the making of the Star Wars movies, Portman had a role in Mike Nichol's theatre production of The Seagulls and starred in acclaimed movies Anywhere But Here, Cold Mountain and Garden State. It was during this time that Natalie also entered Harvard University to continue her education, disregarding the potential for college to be detrimental to her career.
Stepping back to the present time, life choices of motherhood and marriage may also have contributed to whatever career slowdown Portman is referring to, not Star Wars itself.
Ultimately, I think it is disingenuous for Portman to dis Star Wars in an effort to place blame on her difficulty finding work instead of taking responsibility for her personal and professional choices. Further, if Star Wars hurt Portman's career so much, then why did she star in the blockbuster, action-themed movie Thor, which has the same possibility to "hurt" her career. Everyone makes decisions in life and you should not forget where you came from. If it was not for Star Wars, then Portman may not have had the same opportunities for success.