Natalie Portman on Feminist Filmmaking

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Photo: Jamie McCarthy

Natalie Portman is in Elle UK this month, interviewed by her Thor 2 co-star Tom Hiddleston. Portman was reportedly less than thrilled to return for the contractually obligated sequel, because she's more interested in parenting than acting right now and because Marvel Studios fired the director she had wanted. Patty Jenkins, who directed Monster, would have been the first woman to direct a big superhero movie, and it was her involvement that "re-engaged" Portman, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who was "especially proud that she would have played a role in opening the door for a woman to direct such a film."

So it's not surprising that Portman has a well-formed idea of what constitutes feminist filmmaking. It's a little more complicated than giving a girl a gun and letting her kill the bad guys. Portman tells Elle

I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible. I want women and men to be able to be full-time parents or full-time working people or any combination of the two. I want both to be able to do whatever they want sexually without being called names. I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad — human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a "feminist" story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with."