My Favorite Scene: Natalie Portman at TIFF Edition!


Natalie Portman's latest, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, premiered this week in Toronto. Distributors have yet to pull out their checkbooks as we predicted around Movieline HQ, but no rush! It'll happen. In the meantime, the actress and recent first-time director sat down Wednesday with Pursuits filmmaker Don Roos and a few TIFF press for a late breakfast, a little conversation and an all-too-brief round of My Favorite Scene.

"It's totally Dirty Dancing," Portman said. "And I'm so sad about Patrick Swayze."

"What moment in Dirty Dancing?" Roos asked.

"Probably when she's with her Dad," Portman said. 'It actually reminded me of the scene in [Love and Other Impossible Pursuits], you know? When she sort of confesses to trying to be who she is -- 'I'm sorry if I disappointed you.' The whole thing!"

Portman didn't elaborate about how or if she related to the scene, though she did suggest she might be drawn to relationship-dysfunction stories like Love and her short directing debut in New York I Love You because of the relative peace of her own family life growing up. (Her parents have been married more than 30 years.) To that end, I asked how directing itself informs her acting and vice-versa.

"It makes me a lot more appreciative of directors," she said. "It's really hard. If a director can be calm and kind, as Don always is, then that is a massive feat of..."

She searched for a word. Roos jumped in: "Medication."

"Yes!" Portman laughed. "It's true. Thank you."