Natalie Portman: My Academy Award Is a ‘False Idol’

A smart perspective on interviews and Hollywood awards

Stephen Galloway, executive features editor at our sister publication The Hollywood Reporter, describes Natalie Portman as “guarded” during their recent L.A. interview.

But in at least one regard, she did something we think a lot of other celebrities should consider too:

She sits, ramrod straight, plunking her iPhone in the middle of the table and hit­ting “record” before she has said a word, as if challenging me to quote her with razor-sharp accuracy — which, I must admit, casts a pall over our conversation.

Short of Periscoping the meeting, this is about the best way a celebrity of Portman’s stature can safeguard against misquoting. Portman also gave Galloway one of the all-time great answers to the standard question of where she keeps her Oscar (in her case, a Best Actress prize for 2011’s for Black Swan):

“I don’t know where it is,” she says. “I think it’s in the safe or something. I don’t know. I haven’t seen it in a while. I mean, Darren [Aronofsky] actually said to me something when we were in that whole thing that resonated so deeply. I was reading the story of Abraham to my child and talking about, like, not worshipping false idols. And this is literally like gold men. This is lit­er­ally worshipping gold idols — if you worship it. That’s why it’s not displayed on the wall. It’s a false idol.”

Read the rest of the interview here.