New York (AP) – Natalie Portman puts her body to the test to get in shape for her next Marvel movie. Preparing for the movie “Thor: Love and Thunder” in Sydney, Australia, the Oscar winner is training hard after a month-long pandemic hiatus from diet and exercise.
‘It was a free program. I didn’t exercise at all, I ate all the food I needed and wanted, ”she said with a laugh, acknowledging that she was ‘very tired’ from getting up early for the updated training program. Portman said she recognizes that she’s lucky her job holds her accountable, “so I have no choice but to try it out.”
Like so many, she is also a busy mother managing the way to school and the socialization of her 9-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter during the pandemic. She pauses an interview to silence her phone, which keeps ringing because her son is on an SMS chain with his classmates.
Motherhood is what is so dear to her latest project, ‘Natalie Portman’s Fables’. Portman adapted three classic children’s stories – “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Three Little Pigs” and “Country Mouse and Town Mouse” – to make them more gender-inclusive.
In her version, the persistent and confident tortoise that quietly outdoes the hare is a female. “That’s almost a message to myself,” Portman said. “Watch and slow down.”
“Children’s books hold a very special place in our lives because we read them time and time again like no other,” said the 39-year-old actress. “They have a way of imparting information and values to both children and parents. And when I read the books, I noticed that the classic stories had mostly male characters and thought, ‘What am I telling my kids – both my son like my daughter – whose stories are important to tell and whose lives should they give? “
She said her goal was to preserve and update the stories to reflect today’s culture, “which is many genders, not just a predominantly male world.”
Portman says by emphasizing values such as empathy, kindness, and care for the planet, the book is “like a love note” to her children “about what I hope they do in the world.”
She said her children served as “ mini editors, ” with son Aleph reciting puns and daughter Amalia appreciating the humor in Janna Mattia’s illustrations.
A book lover as a child, she kept her favorite children’s books for her kids, and is happy that her son has grown to love the Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume stories. For her next writing project, Portman hopes to tackle something in her son’s comfort zone, perhaps a graphic novel.