As Natalie Portman gracefully and tearfully accepted her first Academy Award for Best Actress last night, her win celebrated not only her haunting performance and undeniable success as Nina in Black Swan, but also her amazing attitude. And so I’d like to present Natalie Portman with my own post-Oscars honor: The Chillest Chick to Ever Win an Oscar award. And this chick definitely deserves it.
As hype mounted for Black Swan, Ms. Portman was suddenly all over the place: talk shows, magazine covers, events of all kinds. And at every occasion, Natalie displayed her unwavering chillitude. One of my favorite bits from all the Oscar pre-gaming was Natalie’s super-chill take on Black Swan‘s memorable girl-on-girl sex scene.
Portman told Entertainment Weekly in December, “Everyone was so worried about who was going to want to see this movie. I remember them being like, ‘How do you get guys to a ballet movie? How do you get girls to a thriller?’ And the answer is a lesbian scene. Everyone wants to see that.”
And oh yeah, we definitely, definitely did. Portman further titillated us by calling co-star and on-screen lover Mila Kunis “Sweet Lips” at the Golden Globes.
More importantly, Portman took something that could have been described away (example: “The scene’s really not about sex, it’s about psychology…blahblahblah”) and embraced it, even bro-ing it out: it’s sex for the hell of it, at least a little bit. It’s good to see an actress in an Oscar-nominated (now award-winning) role not focus on the “serious” quality of her work, but instead on audience and, well, good fun.
And speaking about Natalie’s sweet lips, who can forget the rest of her amazing Golden Globes speech? Natalie rambled conversationally and sweetly, referring to her baby daddy’s good acting skills in the Black Swan scene where he says he wouldn’t have sex with her. “He’s such a good actor…He totally wants to sleep with me!” Chillest award acceptance speech ever.
Her speech last night was less calm, but even more touching and still real. Barely holding back from crying, she thanked everyone who deserved the credit, and focused her thanks on what she calls most important: “my family, my friends, and my love.”
Portman’s recent displays of chill are simply the last in a long line of totally cool. Before Benjamin Millepied stole her heart away, Natalie dated SNL Digital Short mastermind Andy Samberg in 2007, rumor has it. Whether or not sparks flew between the two chill icons is yet unknown, but one thing is certain: Natalie cemented her chill that year on SNL with an amazing and self-parodying rap video.
If all of that isn’t evidence enough of Natalie’s ultimate chill factor, just take a look at her movie choices. Right out of her Oscar-nominated role, Natalie bounced into the Ashton Kutcher sex comedy No Strings Attached. Why would someone about to go big-league dip into the dirt with the former punker? For Natalie, it seems like the question really is: Why not? As Natalie rebounded from a role that was physically and emotionally grueling, the playful quality of the new movie must have been tempting.
Besides, Natalie has always bounced around from projects that seem “low” (there was that one where she played a girl who got knocked up in a Walmart) to heart-breakingly serious films with Hollywood elite, like Cold Mountain. And let’s not forget the role that first put Natalie on the map: Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels. Yeah, those movies sucked. But I can only assume Portman’s enough of a Star Wars geek to not really care that much…which is awesome.
Natalie’s next awesome role just might be in this April’s Your Highness, a surreal period piece made by the same guys that brought us Pineapple Express. Portman describes it as a “stoner adventure comedy” and compares it to The Princess Bride, which is pretty much enough for me to prematurely declare the movie uber-chill. All of this proves that Natalie’s not one to turn her nose up at a role that sounds interesting or just fun. And it is this ability to do it all that has brought her to her victory today.
We may have fallen in love with Ms. Portman for her intense eyebrow language and oceans-deep eyes, but now that she’s getting more attention for just being herself, I’m loving on Natalie for her calm attitude and couch-worthy banter. My new Natalie fantasy isn’t super sexy, but it does sound super fun: After she has her baby, we could just grab a beer and chill. Ahhh, refreshing. Just like Natalie Portman herself.Tags: Academy Award, Andy Samberg, Anne Boleyn, Ashton Kutcher, Bejamin Millepied, best actress, black swan, Closer, Cold Mountain, Entertainment Weekly, girl-on-girl, Golden Globes, natalie portman, Nina, No Strings Attached, Oscar, pineapple express, Queen Amidala, rap, sex scene, SNL, speech, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, Where the Heart Is, Your Highness