Natalie Portman Names Director Mike Nichols as ‘the Only Older Male’ Mentor Who Wasn’t ‘Creepy’
The ‘Black Swan’ actress sings high praise for the late ‘Closer’ filmmaker for mentoring the actress early on her Hollywood career without being ‘creepy’ towards her.
AceShowbiz –Natalie Portman has remembered late director Mike Nichols as the “only older” male mentor who wasn’t “creepy” towards her.
The “Thor: Love and Thunder” star teamed up with Mike – who died in 2014 – on theatre show “The Seagull” and 2004 movie “Closer“. And paying tribute to Nichols in a new biography written by Mark Harris, Natalie said her time with the director was different from her previous Hollywood experiences.
“(He was) the only older man who mentored me without there ever being a creepy element in it,” she said in the book. “I think he was a genuine feminist. There was nothing, nothing, nothing there except him seeing you as a creative, interesting, talented human. It is the rarest, finest quality, and not many directors of his generation had it.”
In one scene in Closer, Natalie’s character has to perform a striptease in front of Clive Owen.
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However, the screen star paid tribute to Nichols for being “careful and protective,” particularly with that scene, and was “happy to eliminate some of the nudity” at her request.
“He wants to see my bare a*s (even) less than my father would,” Natalie shared.
“What he did for me…” she smiled. “Lord, may I have that ability to offer that kind of mentorship and guidance to one other person.”
Mike Nichols received a Best Director nomination for his work on “Closer” at the Golden Globe Awards while Natalie Portman and Clive Owen were named Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively for their roles in his movie.
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