Yesterday, the New York TImes debuted a Web site for T, their style magazine. Once I entered, I was privy to an interview with Natalie Portman. Although the actress says she can’t remember the first movie she ever saw, she confides, "I definitely watched Dirty Dancing a lot. I watched it on video repeatedly and on television repeatedly." Weirdly, no one asks why she liked it. And the interview setup, in a dark room, videotaped in black and white, indicates not only intimacy is coming for the viewer, but important answers to questions as well. That doesn’t happen much. Portman also worries that kids don’t really get to see her movies except for Star Wars movies, and says she’s very fond of Greg Mottola’s Superbad.
Overall, interviewer Lynn Hirshberg asks some really useless questions like, "What are your five favorite non-musical sounds?" I know it’s the Style Magazine and not the Magazine magazine, and the two have different agendas regarding readership. One is about fashion, the other, about things weightier. But no wonder actors of note are reticent to give interviews. They’re asked things that have nothing to do with their craft, like this weird, first-date like question about non-musical sounds. Portman, who seems uncomfortable with the queries, is becoming a serious actress with films like The Darjeeling Limited and Closer — heck, even with Garden State. Shouldn’t she be treated like one — at least for half of the interview?Read More