Natalie Portman on Golden Globe nod: We need ‘Jackie’ ‘at this moment in history’

By Joey Nolfi
December 12, 2016 at 11:50 PM EST
Stephanie Branchu

People like to believe in fairytales, and Natalie Portman could be at the center of her own this awards season.

The Golden Globe nominee, recognized Monday morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for her performance in Pablo Larraín’s Jackie, tells EW she found out about the nod the usual way (a text message from her publicist), but the excitement, for her, is all in how people react to the movie, which reframes a pivotal moment in U.S. history as it dramatizes Jacqueline Kennedy’s life in the days following her husband’s 1963 assassination.

“A lot of people [tell me] they so rarely get to see a woman on screen have so many different aspects of her portrayed,” she says, lauding Larraín and screenwriter Noah Oppenheim’. “It’s not just a simplified male gaze; they allowed her to be a real human being… I had superficial knowledge of her before taking on the role; I knew about her style and her hair, [but now I consider] her as a human being, and I understand the resilience, intellect, and willpower. She had to endure some unbelievably horrible events and made beautiful gestures and lasting contributions to our country.”

It’s that sense of respect for a powerful woman in a public position that resonated with Portman as she filmed Jackie, and now she stresses the importance of maintaining that sentiment as the country transitions from one president to the next after one of the most contentious elections in U.S. history.

“[Jackie shows] a woman being incredibly powerful, intelligent, creating her own narrative, and authoring her own story,” she notes. “In terms of being an individual — not just as a woman, but as a citizen of the country — Kennedy showed courage at a moment that was completely terrifying and devastating. To stand up and be active and be brave, we certainly need that at this moment in history.”

Portman isn’t the first actress to play Jackie O., and this isn’t the 35-year-old’s first time at the pre-Oscar rodeo, either; she traveled the awards circuit back in 2010 for her Oscar-winning performance in Black Swan, but the freshly-minted four-time Golden Globe nominee (and two-time winner) says she’s grown fonder of her fellow Globes nominees — Ruth Negga, Annette Bening, Isabelle Huppert, Amy Adams, and Emma Stone, in particular — this time around.

“I feel very lucky that there’s a group of women I get to experience this with,” she says of her competition, noting her respect for sisterhood in the industry extends beyond Jackie‘s reach. “I’m like a fan around them… it’s the women I look up to the most — even the ones who are younger than me! It’s the best part of the process; I get to spend time with them, because we never get the chance to work together.”

Jackie is now playing in theaters. Watch the film’s trailer below, and check out the full list of Golden Globe nominations here.

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