OK! (USA) - - Contents - NATALIE PORT­MAN

Os­car win­ner Natalie Port­man dishes on her buzzy new flick, par­ent­hood and more.

Like most work­ing moms, Natalie Port­man tries her best to jug­gle her fam­ily and ca­reer. But at times, the Os­car-win­ning ac­tress, 37, finds that it’s eas­ier said than done. “I see other moth­ers do it, and they seem to man­age, but it’s chal­leng­ing. You have to make com­pro­mises,” says Natalie, who shares son Aleph, 7, and daugh­ter Amalia, 21 months, with hus­band Ben­jamin Millepied. But no mat­ter what, the star pri­or­i­tizes what’s most im­por­tant. “I am a mother,” she ex­plains. “My kids al­ways come first.” As she cel­e­brates the re­lease of new film Vox Lux (in the­aters Dec. 7), Natalie gets can­did about her life on and off cam­era.

In Vox Lux, you play a school shoot­ing sur­vivor who be­comes a pop star. What drew you to this role?

I thought this was an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for me to play a char­ac­ter that is as com­plex as this one. I have never done this be­fore. And that was very in­trigu­ing to me. A lot of the themes [in this film] are very rel­e­vant to the world we live in to­day, and I hadn’t seen [them] re­flected be­fore

Were you ner­vous about mak­ing a film that ad­dresses such a vi­o­lent is­sue?

We are los­ing more peo­ple to mass shoot­ings these days than we are on the bat­tle­field. There is a civil war go­ing on at our schools; it’s just plain crazy. As a cit­i­zen, and as a mother of young chil­dren, I need to speak out against gun vi­o­lence.

Is it true that the film al­most didn’t hap­pen?

Yes. I prepped the film twice. I was on the way to the air­port and I re­ceived a phone call to turn around be­cause fi­nanc­ing had fallen through. So it got de­layed by a cou­ple of months, and I had to prep again. But that was kind of nice be­cause I could pre­pare a bit longer.

This is also your fourth film with Jude Law.

Jude is phe­nom­e­nal. He’s one of the kind­est peo­ple I’ve ever met. We worked for the first time [al­most] 20 years ago [on Cold Moun­tain]. We’re a great match when it comes to movies.

Did your part of the shoot re­ally take only 10 days!

Yes! One of the shoot­ing days was my daugh­ter’s first birthday, and they sent me home early to be with my baby! I thought that was so sweet. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated that. It’s a great thing to work with peo­ple with big hearts.

What was it like film­ing near your child­hood home on Long Is­land?

It was very easy to pick up my old ac­cent. We stayed at a ho­tel where I used to al­ways at­tend bar mitz­vahs when I was younger. The guy at the front door re­mem­bered me. It felt like a true home­com­ing.

Af­ter 24 years in show­biz, what’s the se­cret to mak­ing a great film?

You al­ways want to feel safe and wanted [on set]. If you feel that way, you feel at home im­me­di­ately. In turn, that helps you give your best per­for­mance. A good di­rec­tor is al­ways help­ful, too.

PER­FOR­MANCE PREP “Phys­i­cally it was tough — lots of dance train­ing, con­di­tion­ing. Emo­tion­ally it was tough as well,” Natalie says of her role in Vox Lux.

“When I’m not work­ing, I’m pretty much ex­clu­sively with my fam­ily,” says Natalie, in June with Aleph and Amalia.

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