Natalie Portman: ‘No One’s Ever Asked Me to Return’ to ‘Star Wars,’ but ‘I’m Open to It’
Natalie Portman told GQ magazine that she’s open to returning to the “Star Wars” franchise, 18 years after “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” served as her exit from the long-running space saga. Portman starred in all three of George Lucas’ prequel films as Padmé Amidala, who wins the heart of Anakin Skywalker.
“I have no information on this,” Portman said when a fan floated the idea of her coming back to the franchise. “No one’s ever asked me to return, but I’m open to it.”
More from Variety
Sofia Coppola's New Book Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Classics Like 'The Virgin Suicides' and 'Marie Antoinette'
Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman Are Both Lead-Actress Oscar Worthy in Todd Haynes' Delicious 'May December'
Natalie Portman Says Women at Cannes Are Expected to Behave Differently Than Men: 'How We Look, How We Carry Ourselves'
Portman’s Padmé died in labor after giving birth to Luke and Leia in “Revenge of the Sith,” but the “Star Wars” franchise has a history of bringing back long-presumed dead characters (see “Phantom Menace” villain Darth Maul popping back up in “Solo.”).
Portman’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” director Taika Waititi told a widely shared story in summer 2022 about asking Portman if she might want to star in his currently-in-development “Star Wars” movie. He failed to realize that Portman was already a veteran of the franchise.
“He says he did [forget] because he like asked me if I wanted to be in a ‘Star Wars’ movie and I was like, ‘I was,’” Portman told GQ. “I thought he was joking. He’s such a joker that I thought it was a joke. And then afterward he said in some interview that he was like cringing afterward.”
Variety exclusively reported in March that Waititi’s “Star Wars” movie was still in development and that he was eyeing a role in the film himself. He told Total Film last year that he’s not interested in making a “Star Wars” movie with pre-existing characters and story threads (think “Rogue One,” which connects directly to “A New Hope” through the Death Star) or telling origin stories (think Ron Howard’s polarizing Han Solo prequel “Solo”). He’s aiming to “create some new characters” and “expand the world” of “Star Wars” with his movie.
“Look, I think for the ‘Star Wars’ universe to expand, it has to expand,” Waititi said. “I don’t think that I’m any use in the ‘Star Wars’ universe making a film where everyone’s like, ‘Oh great, well that’s the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.’ That all stands alone, that’s great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it’s a very small story.”
Waititi is developing his “Star Wars” movie with co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who earned an Oscar nomination for penning Sam Mendes’ one-take war thriller “1917.”
Watch Portman’s full video interview with GQ in the post below.
Best of Variety
Emmy Predictions: Guest Actress (Drama) -- Melanie Lynskey and Anna Torv From 'The Last of Us' Challenging 'Succession' Women
Tony Predictions: Best Musical -- Four Stand Poised to Give ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Some Competition
This 'Fast and Furious' Arcade Cabinet Allows You to Step Behind the Wheel as Dom Toretto
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.