‘Jackie’: Natalie Portman on Jackie Kennedy’s Humanity and Her Strange Accent

     December 1, 2016

With the exception of two turns in the Thor films—and a highly publicized difficult production for the came-and-went western Jane Got a GunNatalie Portman has been pretty quiet since winning an Oscar for Black Swan and giving birth to her first child. Well, now she’s about to give birth again and be nominated for an Oscar again. Portman is phenomenal in her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy in Jackie. But this ain’t a biopic. There’s no early year insights into the former First Lady. Instead, Jackie reconstructs the days following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy’s attempts to preserve her husband’s stature, show the great loss that America and her family faces in the wake of his death, and extend the legend of the Kennedy family legacy through an interview with a journalist (Billy Crudup). Portman’s performance shows immense attention to detail in Jackie’s on-camera nervousness in inviting America into the White House for a tour, her mastery of Jackie’s tricky regional cornucopia of an accent and her immense grief from the assassination.

After Jackie had its US premiere at the New York Film Festival in October, I got the chance to sit down with Portman and experience some of my own on-camera nervousness while we talked about her preconceived notions of the former First Lady, her approach to the accent and working with the amazing Chilean director Pablo Larrain who is about to break out in a major may with his first English-language film. (Hint: If you end up loving Jackie you can get another Larrain anti-biopic merely weeks later by watching Neruda (December 16), which is Chile’s official Best Foreign Language submission for an Oscar this year; he was also submitted from Chile last year for The Club and in 2013 for NoWe’ve been trumpeting his name here on Collider for a bit and there’s a treasure trove for new fans to discover.)

You can watch the interview above. You can catch Jackie in select theaters starting this weekend, with expansions to come new cities each of the following weekends.

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