Natalie Portman has been the beautiful face fronting the spectacular Miss Dior campaigns since 2010. To celebrate its new incarnation, we chatted with the actress and mother-of-two about fragrance, France and feminism YOU’VE BEEN THE FACE OF MISS DIOR FOR SEVEN YEARS. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE VERSION?
I feel like it has evolved with me. The current one feels so like the part of life that I’m in. Right now, I really appreciate things that take time, which is kind of the antithesis to our culture where everything is disposable. The roses that go into the fragrance only bloom for a few weeks out of the year. They have to be picked by hand. And the knowledge is handed down from one generation to the next. It’s the kind of care and attention that’s missing these days. It’s like couture in a bottle.
MISS DIOR IS ABOUT REBELLION. WHAT’S THE MOST REBELLIOUS THING YOU’VE DONE?
I went off to Morocco by myself when I was 18. My parents said, “Please don’t,” and I was like, “Nope.” I did a lot of travelling on my own.
ARE YOU A FEMINIST?
Yes. It’s confusing why anyone wouldn’t be. It just means you believe we should all have the same opportunities and rights. That anyone thinks it’s radical is a wake-up call, and a good one. We must have been naive or we
weren’t paying attention to the fact men were ruling over all these women. It’s been incredible to get to see this sort of rebirth of feminism, which Maria Grazia Chiuri has been such a proponent of.
YOU’VE LIVED IN PARIS AND LOS ANGELES. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
They’re complete opposites, but very complementary. LA has the sun and that special light and so much nature. And Paris just has such a deep culture. The energies of the cities are different, too. LA is a young, changing city. It’s very loose – everyone kind of just does whatever they want. Paris is so established – there’s a lot of heritage and more rules. I used to wear sweatpants every day. Now I’d never wear them out of the house.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BEAUTY?
In the US, if you have something like a mole or a big nose, you try to hide it. In France, it’s emphasised. They’re like, “That’s my thing – that’s what makes me different.” They celebrate the differences as the thing that makes you beautiful. That’s a good attitude to have.
WHAT’S THE BEST BEAUTY ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Sunscreen. And someone told me early on not to pluck my eyebrows. That’s important because now eyebrows are a thing.
HOW HAS YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE CHANGED SINCE YOU BECAME A MOTHER?
I now do everything in the shower. And I get acupuncture once every couple of weeks and that really helps me. I don’t get a lot of time for glamour, but of course, I still have my perfume.
HAS HOW YOU WEAR FRAGRANCE ALSO EVOLVED?
What I like has stayed relatively the same. When I was much younger, I’d go for sweeter smells. As an adult, I’m drawn to florals like jasmine, orange blossom and rose. And throughout pregnancy and motherhood, you do become very sensitive to smells.
HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCE AS A WORKING MOTHER?
There are certain treats I give myself, like acupuncture or doing a crossword. Or I watch Masterchef Junior with my son every week. I hike with friends a lot when I’m home, because it’s exercise and I get to spend time with a friend and be in nature. They’re the things that let my mind relax a bit. The pace of working and being a mum is very intense, so it’s nice to have things that calm me.
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO RED CARPET LOOK?
Classic. You want to be able to look back in 10 years and still feel like it’s something you would wear.
HAVE YOU GOT ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?
I’m okay at a lot of things. I can sort of tap dance and I can sort of cook. I can change a diaper very well though.
WHO WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE?
My mother. I’m lucky to have a wonderful mother. I definitely try to be like her, because I can’t think of any better way to be.
Dress, $5,100, Christian Dior, (02) 9229 4600
Dress, $15,500, briefs, $1,250, both Christian Dior, (02) 9229 4600
LEADING LADY Behind the scenes of the new Miss Dior campaign