Portman's Baby-Cooking, Ashton's Orgasms and 7 More Revelations from the No Strings Attached Junket
With a bun in the oven and her Black Swan Oscar nod pretty much in the bag, Natalie Portman was all aglow and perky as she joined co-star Ashton Kutcher, director Ivan Reitman and screenwriter Liz Meriwether at today's press conference for this month's rom-com No Strings Attached, a date movie about twentysomething "sex friends" who accidentally fall in love. (Think Love and Other Drugs minus the tragic debilitating disease, penis drugs and actual nudity.) Naturally, topics of conversation included casual sex, Ivan Reitman's intercourse-related instructions, the apocalypse, Lil Wayne's adult beverage of choice, and an extended rant on the female orgasm... by Ashton Kutcher. Dive in:
1. After making Black Swan, Natalie Portman really let herself go.
Portman plays a hot (and wisp-thin) doctor who spends all of her free time boning Ashton Kutcher. Not bad work if you can get it, but after spending an arduous year of eight-hour days training for her role as a ballerina in Black Swan, No Strings Attached must have really felt like a vacay. Welcome to the January release calendar, Natalie! "You're like, how did you get fat so quickly?" she joked. "It was pretty great. It was a palate cleanser after all of that really disciplined, focused, very serious kind of set, to a really playful, fun... Obviously everyone's still very professional on this kind of movie, but there's an improvisational feel all the time and everyone's there to play. It was a really great atmosphere. And I didn't have to work out because I was like, she's a doctor -- she doesn't have time!"
And what's next for Portman, personally and professionally speaking? "I'm cooking a child."
2. Ashton Kutcher has never had a "sex friend." But it sure sounds awesome!
Asked if he thought friendships could survive casual sex, Kutcher quipped, "I wouldn't know. I haven't been fortunate enough to try one of those relationships out."
3. Sex scenes are awkward for everyone, even Sir Laurence Olivier. The real acting starts once the cameras stop rolling.
"I'm pretty immature, so I get embarrassed easily," Portman said of her numerous humping/post-coitus scenes with Kutcher. "You do sort of go the opposite direction between takes. 'So, what are you doing this weekend?' Totally benign conversation in between to make it a little normal."
"I just start by apologizing," Kutcher added. "You try to set some ground rules and apologize. Somebody, I think Sir Laurence Olivier, said -- I always use Sir Laurence Olivier; when in doubt, use Sir Laurence Olivier -- 'I apologize if I get aroused and I apologize if I do not get aroused.' There's always that kind of awkward state. In-between let's act like nothing happened and you'll see how good of an actor you really are."
4. Be happy that in real-life, Ivan Reitman isn't directing your orgasms.
Kutcher claims that having sex on screen is a tad more difficult than doing it in real life. Mostly because a 64-year-old man isn't looking over your shoulder telling you to hurry up. Kutcher explained: "Ivan [was] like, 'I think you need to orgasm sooner.' Your male machismo's like, 'No, no, it's gonna take me much longer than this!' But it's always very technical because you're trying to show each others' faces but stay in the moment, so it's always slightly more complicated than it is in real life."
5. So that explains Your Highness...
With a pack of conspicuously mainstream fare forthcoming in 2011, Portman's lightening things up. Guess that's what happens when you spend a year inside the head of a mentally unstable ballerina. Or maybe Portman has heeded the warning signs and is just prepping for the end of the world. So how does the serious award-winning actress explain No Strings Attached, Your Highness, and Thor? "You have heard the apocalypse is coming, right? 2012, the Mayan calendar. Thought I'd get it all in right before."
6. Portman to teenagers of the world: Use real condoms!
A journalist posed the awkward question to preggers Natalie Portman: What message did she have to send to teen moviegoers on having safe sex, considering that she herself has recently gotten knocked up? "Well, I'm not a teen, so that's the first thing I'll say," Portman replied with a giggle. "I'm a grown-up."
She continued, serious-faced. "Obviously [sexual activity] is really prevalent in our country, and I think that's part of what the movie addresses; we have so much sex in the media that's disassociated from emotions. We have so much separation between feeling the emotional and the physical side of sex, and they really do belong together."
But in No Strings Attached, Portman and Kutcher's characters make a point of using prophylactics during their sexcapades. "Yes, condoms were fake-used in the fake-sex scenes in this movie," Portman said with another laugh.
Screenwriter Liz Meriwether jumped in: "But people should use real condoms!"
7. And then Ashton Kutcher veered off on a weird human trafficking thing.
Portman and Meriwether were laughing about condoms when Kutcher launched into a random aside on human sex trafficking, sex education and female orgasms. The rant in its entirety: "I think there's so much that's not said about sex in our country, even from an educational level. I do a lot of work on human trafficking, and I connect a lot with girls that end up in this trade, if you will. Partially because of a lack of education about sex in the country. Sometimes we get to make films that open things up that people can talk about, and one of the interesting things -- I don't want to veer off on a weird human trafficking thing, but -- is that, especially for women in the sex education process in schools, the one thing they teach about is how to get pregnant or how to not get pregnant, but they don't really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women. The male orgasm is actually right there and readily available to learn about because it's actually part of the reproductive cycle, but the female orgasm isn't really talked about in the education system. Part of that creates a place where women aren't empowered around their own sexuality and their own sexual selves, and from a purely entertainment point of view, to create a movie with a female lead that's empowered with her own sexuality is a powerful thing. And if we can give teenage people something to think about from a sex perspective, I would say it would be to open a conversation where women are empowered with their own sexual experiences from an educational level as well as an entertainment level."
8. Right. Moving on to Portman's favorite part of shooting No Strings Attached: drunkenly yelling at a pair of broke ass hoes trying to mack on her man.
Audiences rarely get to see Portman cut loose, drunk, or crazy -- at least not in a non-psychotic way. Expect the Internet to jump all over the scene in which she confronts two slutty girls (one of whom is played by Saturday Night Live's Abby Elliott) by screaming, "You look like a pumpkin, bitch!" Portman loved it, too. "[My favorite was] the pumpkin night, when I was screaming at the girls. We had a lot of pumpkin-related jokes that were going on for a very long time."
9. Someone get Weezy on the phone -- Ivan needs some Purple Drank!
Despite the film's reference to Lil' Wayne and his favorite adult beverage, Purple Drank -- a combination of cough syrup, soda, and Jolly Ranchers -- Ivan Reitman has yet to have his first taste. "I have never personally had a Purple Drank, just to go on record right now. But it sure sounded funny and it sounded right, and it seemed to be a perfect way to put Kevin Kline in the hospital when we needed him to be."