Natalie Portman touched on her Black Swan diet in a recent interview about her upcoming movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, admitting that she was asked to become ’as small as possible’ for the her career-defining role.
The 41-year-old actor won an Academy Award for her performance in the 2010 psychological thriller after receiving criticial acclaim for her portrayal of troubled ballerina, Nina Sawyers – a role that pushed her to both her physical and mental limits.
Natalie famously endured a grueling training regime to get into character for the movie, taking dance lessons for up to 8 hours a day, six days a week under the guidance of retired New York City ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers.
She was also required to follow a highly restrictive diet to achieve the petite body type commonly associated with ballerinas, losing 20lbs in six months by drastically reducing her food intake. It was reported at the time that Natalie, who has been vegetarian since the age of nine, consumed just 1200 calories a day and relied mostly on fruits and vegetables to get her through the intensive rehearsals.
The restrictive exercise and diet plan is now a distant memory for the V for Vendetta star, who has undertaken a completely opposite approach to prepare for her role in Thor: Love and Thunder. The Marvel Studios adventure-action film, which hits US movie theatres on 8 July, will see Natalie transform from her previous character as astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster in the 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World into the indomitable Mighty Thor.
Speaking to Variety, Natalie has reflected on how different the preparation for her upcoming role is from that of Nina Sawyers.
“On Black Swan, I was asked to get as small as possible,” she said. “Here, I was asked to get as big as possible. That’s an amazing challenge – and also state of mind as a woman.
“To have this reaction and be seen as big, you realise, ’Oh, this must be so different, to walk through the world like this,’” she said. “When you’re small – and also, I think, because I started as a kid – a lot of times I feel young or little or, like, a pat-on-the-head kind of person. And I present myself that way, too, because of that.”
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