After a Busy Film Workload, Natalie Portman Takes a Pregnant Pause

Natalie Portman’s aware you might be getting a little tired of her face. But she offers a compelling reason for making the plethora the films she’s got in the pipeline.

“Well, you have heard that the Apocalypse is coming, right? 2012 – The Mayan calendar?” Portman explains. “I thought that I would get it all in right before.

A freshly minted Golden Globe winner and leading contender to take home an Oscar for last fall’s “Black Swan,” Portman will be seen at more than just awards podiums this year. She’s got the raunchy/romantic comedy “No Strings Attached” dropping this week, plus stints as the Thunder God’s love interest in “Thor” and a comely warrior woman in the comedy “Your Highness,” both due this year.

“I feel bad for boring people with my face for a while,” she conceded, “but in as an actress it was really an exciting thing to get to work on all of these things almost back to back.”
“I learned so much from doing all these different types of movies,” Portman said, “because you bring the research and the seriousness and the discipline of doing a drama into something like 'Thor,' and you bring the humor and the improvisational attitude from something like 'Your Highness' into 'Black Swan.'”

Along with expanding her film resume, Portman was pleased to reclaim her curvier personal proportions in “No Strings Attached” after getting scary-skinny for “Black Swan.” “You're like, 'How did you get fat so quickly?'” she chuckled. “It was pretty great. It was like a palate cleanser after all of that discipline and focus and a very serious kind of set, to a really playful, fun [film] – obviously everyone is still very professional on this movie, but there's an improvisational feel all the time and everyone is 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. They don't have time.'”

Now she’ll be taking some time off, with plenty of new strings attached: she’s engaged to “Black Swan” choreographer Benjamin Millipied and is prepping herself for the off-screen role of mother. Asked about her upcoming projects, she looks at her expectant tummy and says simply “I'm cooking a child.”

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