Natalie Portman on pre-Nazi Germany, Judaism, being a hot knish and U.S.-Israel relations


Along with the release of “The Other Boleyn Girl” has come several interviews with Natalie Portman.

She touched on a few topics of Jewish interest in her talk with Time magazine:

You take on a period piece in The Other Boleyn Girl. What is your favorite time in history? —Nikki Barrett, York, PA.
I’m really interested in 1920s Berlin. I read this great book by Amos Elon called The Pity of It All. It’s about Jewish life in Berlin right before the war. The whole environment of the salons and all this culture—there was a real openness and freedom. It’s scary to think the response to that was this incredible fascism….

As a native of Israel, what role do you think the U.S. government should play in its affairs? —Amy Lucio, Riverside, Calif.
I would love to see a government that made demands on Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement. Ultimately, it has to come from the people themselves, though. No one is going to like an externally imposed solution.

And then there was her interview with The Sunday Times of London:

I identify very strongly as Jewish, but I could be Indian, Puerto Rican . . . Anything that gives you a cultural identity makes you know who you are and grounds you, even as a young girl trying on identities.” She sighs. “Any time I see something about Britney, I close it. I can’t look at it. I’m usually interested in gossip, but this makes my stomach hurt.” …

And, of course, while Portman is famously Jewish, Johansson is a lesser-known Jew (because of her Scandinavian father, she’s called “the kosher Danish”). When Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek made a movie together, all the headlines blared “the Hot Tamales”. What should the media label a film starring two Jewish girls? Portman doesn’t miss a beat.

“The Hot Knishes,” she says.

Hat tip: Bintel Blog.

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