After Natalie Portman wore an outfit to the Oscars that featured the names of female filmmakers embroidered on the trim, the Oscar-winning actress received backlash for only starring in two feature films directed by women throughout her career, one of which she directed herself. Among the names were Greta Gerwig, Lorene Scafaria, Celine Sciamma, and “Honey Boy” director Alma Har’el, who took to social media to defend Portman.
On Twitter (via IndieWire), Har’el wrote: “If you need a class at being classy read Natalie Portman’s statement. Appreciation for the discourse but Natalie fought for [Patty] Jenkins (“Thor 2”) and [Lynne] Ramsay (“Jane Got a Gun”) and many more. She also worked with many women directors on music videos and advertisements. I stan this class act and thank her.”
In her own statement a couple of days ago, Portman also admitted to having made few films with female directors, but clarified that it wasn’t for lack of trying, citing her effort in “helping get female directors hired on projects which they were then forced out of because of the conditions they faced at work.” As Har’el points out, Portman has fought for women directors, even if the studios were against it. It was reported back in 2011 that Portman signed on to appear in “Thor 2” mainly because Patty Jenkins was set to be the first female MCU director, after considering stepping down from acting for a while, and was reportedly “furious” about Jenkins departure.
A couple of years later, Portman would face a similar situation, as she was a producer on “Jane Got A Gun” and worked on hiring Ramsay as a director. Ramsay then quit the film just days before production began once it became clear she wasn’t getting final cut on the film. Though Portman stayed involved with both movies, Jude Law followed Ramsay and quit the film, citing that he signed on because of her. Time will tell if Portman will indeed work with more women. For now, there’s a lot of interested eyes watching what she does next.