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Natalie Portman and Paul Mescal get candid on physical transformation, evolution of intimate scenes in Hollywood, and more

The actor-duo has given mind-blowing performances this year in All of Us Strangers and May December

Natalie Portman and Paul Mescal get candid on physical transformation, evolution of intimate scenes in Hollywood, and more

Natalie Portman and Paul Mescal

Last Updated: 12.54 AM, Dec 13, 2023


Natalie Portman’s performances have always thrilled us in films like – Black Swan, Thor, Star Wars film series. No wonder she won an Oscar for Best Actress in 2011. On the other hand, Paul Mescal has been giving back-to-back outstanding performances from the past two years – Normal People, The Lost Daughter, God’s Creatures, and Carmen.

About May December

This year, Natalie once again impressed the audience as Elizabeth Berry in May December. The film is loosely based on the life of Mary Kay Letourneau, the American teacher, who had a sexual relationship with her sex-grade student Vili Fualaau. She was jailed several times and later married him. Paul Mescal’s role as Harry in All of Us Strangers. The film is based on the 1987 novel – Strangers by Taichi Yamada.

However, recently Natalie Portman and Paul Mescal have gathered together for Variety's Actors On Actors to have a knowledgeable chat. They talked about several topics like – how they got physically transformed while working in the industry, how intimate scenes have evolved in Hollywood, and how directors have immensely helped them in growing.

Paul and Natalie's conversation

Paul began the chat by congratulating Natalie for her performance in May December, and asked her how she decided to do the film, to which Portman replied, “One of the things I loved about Samy Burch’s script for May December was all the questions it raised about how actors are seeking to understand the human heart. But there’s also the paradox that you’re cannibalising emotions and stealing people’s true stories, true feelings, and exploiting them.”

Later when Paul shared that he feels like once actors decide to play a character, it becomes their duty to become subjective and protect that character “I don’t want to play people who are perceived as good all the time, because I think films would be very boring as a result.” To this, Natalie said that this is why she was so impressed with his role in All of Us Strangers. “Your character’s like a dream man. He is so emotionally available and caring and loving to the point that it was a fantasy.”

Natalie's being curious about fine intimate scenes in Hollywood

Natalie also gave a big shout out for the intimate scene in All of Us Strangers. She found it very hot, yet tender, and asked Paul why don't we get to watch such impressive scenes nowadays. “Films like this are an indication of a distance that we’ve travelled, but ultimately there’s quite a ways to go.” Paul replied, “All I can talk about is my experience with filming those scenes. Andrew Scott’s character, Adam, who is in his mid-40s, has a difficult relationship to sex. My character serves as a safe landing space for him to re-explore his sexuality. I think sex in film, when it can be healing and sexy at the same time, that’s when it’s at its best.”

Watch the whole interview here:

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