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Natalie Portman's newest role? Producer!

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Is Natalie Portman the hardest working woman in show business? The 27-year old actress just debuted a new web venture Makingof.com, which features behind-the-scenes access to the movie industry. And on Wednesday, her year-old production company, handsomecharlie films, announced its first acquisition, the darkly comedic indie Hesher from first-time feature writer/director Spencer Susser. The movie, about a family grappling with loss and an anarchist who helps them overcome it, begins filming outside of Los Angeles next week. She chatted with EW.com about her latest entrepreneurial endeavors.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What prompted you to become a producer?

NATALIE PORTMAN: I started the production company because I wanted to have the ability to create my own projects and support filmmakers I believe in. Also, I wasn’t always finding the roles I wanted to work on. I’m excited that Hesher is the first thing the company is making. I’ve known Spencer for a really long time. It’s really exciting to not only do something that I believe in artistically but also to work with my close friends. It’s a maturation thing for me too because I started working at 11 years old. I’ve always been the kid working for other people. Now to be peers with the filmmakers I’m working with — and friends with them too — is so much fun. It’s not obeying the authority but being the authority.

How long did it take you to pull this all together?
Spencer had been working on this script for several years and he sent it to me about a year ago. It took quite a while to get it going. It was a classic tale of Murphy’s Law pre-production to get financing and all that. It was really challenging. But it makes it all the sweeter now that we’ve pulled it all together.

Plus, you scored a great cast with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rainn Wilson.
Oh, we are so lucky! I think it speaks to the quality of the script that we got Joe and Rainn and John Carroll Lynch [Gran Torino]. It’s an amazing group. [Piper Laurie (Hounddog) and newcomer Devin Brochu (In the Valley of Elah) also star.]

Portman reveals her next acting gig after the jump.

You’ve also been really busy with the launch of your website, Makingof.com. What was the impetus behind that?
You have all this time between projects and that’s when you can

start going with all your lofty ideas. I wanted to be able to share my

experiences of what I’ve been lucky enough to do this long with people

who don’t necessarily get the chance to see filming up close.

What’s so refreshing about the site is it’s focused on filmmaking

and all the people involved. It’s not another celebrity vanity site.
I didn’t want it to be about me. There are all these technological

innovations that are coming out every second, yet so often they are not

used in a very interesting way. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to

divert the attention [away] from people who already have too much. Who

wants another celebrity interview about what kind of clothes they like?

Yet, I think there are all these amazing artists who collaborate to

make a film yet they never, ever share their craft and their

inspiration. There is so much stuff that I’m interested in that I

figured someone else would be too.

What are your plans for the site going forward? Will you be featuring footage from Hesher?
I’m trying to find the balance between supporting the website with

everything I do but, again, not making it about me. I don’t want it to

be “my film, and every director I work with.” I want it to get to the

point where it isn’t just about my stuff. We are adding content daily.

A lot of people wanted to see the site before they would agree to let

us on the set. We just launched a few days ago so now we are talking to

different people. Everyone is really positive about it. Filmmakers are

excited to share what they do in a meaningful way with people who don’t

have access to film school or friends who work in the movies.

What will we be seeing you in next?

Jim Sheridan’s Brothers comes out later this year. I also did a Don Roos (Happy Endings)

untitled film last year. It will probably come out this year but they

don’t have a release date or a title. And I directed a short and I’m in

a short for the ensemble piece New York, I Love You.

What’s the significance behind the title of your company, handsomecharlie films?

It’s kind of childish. It was for my dog, Charlie, who passed right

when I started my company. And he was named for my hero Charlie

Chaplin.

You’ve also been really busy with the launch of your website, Makingof.com. What was the impetus behind that?
You have all this time between projects and that’s when you canstart going with all your lofty ideas. I wanted to be able to share myexperiences of what I’ve been lucky enough to do this long with peoplewho don’t necessarily get the chance to see filming up close.

What’s so refreshing about the site is it’s focused on filmmakingand all the people involved. It’s not another celebrity vanity site.
I didn’t want it to be about me. There are all these technologicalinnovations that are coming out every second, yet so often they are notused in a very interesting way. I think it’s an amazing opportunity todivert the attention [away] from people who already have too much. Whowants another celebrity interview about what kind of clothes they like?Yet, I think there are all these amazing artists who collaborate tomake a film yet they never, ever share their craft and theirinspiration. There is so much stuff that I’m interested in that Ifigured someone else would be too.

What are your plans for the site going forward? Will you be featuring footage from Hesher?
I’m trying to find the balance between supporting the website witheverything I do but, again, not making it about me. I don’t want it tobe “my film, and every director I work with.” I want it to get to thepoint where it isn’t just about my stuff. We are adding content daily.A lot of people wanted to see the site before they would agree to letus on the set. We just launched a few days ago so now we are talking todifferent people. Everyone is really positive about it. Filmmakers areexcited to share what they do in a meaningful way with people who don’thave access to film school or friends who work in the movies.

What will we be seeing you in next?
Jim Sheridan’s Brothers comes out later this year. I also did a Don Roos (Happy Endings)untitled film last year. It will probably come out this year but theydon’t have a release date or a title. And I directed a short and I’m ina short for the ensemble piece New York, I Love You.

What’s the significance behind the title of your company, handsomecharlie films?
It’s kind of childish. It was for my dog, Charlie, who passed rightwhen I started my company. And he was named for my hero CharlieChaplin.

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