Natalie Portman has admitted to never seeing a Star Wars movie before being cast as Pademé Amidala in the prequels.
In an interview with the Radio Times magazine per Female First., the Academy Award-winning actress in all three of the prequel Star Wars movies from 1999 to 2005 said she wasn’t aware of the films before being cast.
I was aware of the lingo, as American culture is so immersed in Star Wars.
Even if you’ve never seen the movies, you know what Princess Leia buns are, what a lightsaber is, what a Jedi is, you know who Yoda and Obi-Wan are.
But I only saw the films when I was approached to do them.Natalie Portman
Portman would have been around 16 years old when filming began on the first prequel installment. While fans worldwide love the original trilogy, it was not as prevalent in the early 90s as it is today, and any new Star Wars at that time had come in the form of books, comics, and games.
The character of Pademé Amidala would play a critical role in the prequels, significantly impacting Anakin Skywalker and his eventual fall to the dark side. While Pademé didn’t survive the prequel trilogy, Portman mentioned that she would be open to returning to the role.
Portman can now be seen in Todd Haynes‘s new movie, May December, streaming on Netflix.