Natalie Portman Says She Has '100 Stories' of Sexual Harassment in Hollywood
By Jackie Willis
Cass Bird/PORTER magazine’
Natalie Portman is opening up about her own experience with sexual harassment in Hollywood.
The 36-year-old actress has thrown her support behind the anti-harassment movement, Time's Up, and talks about this time in history. “A lot of people have been speaking out for a long time and not been heard, particularly women of color," she notes of the initiative in the spring issue of Porter magazine. "So, it’s very important the industry listens."
Portman admits that she too has faced sexual harassment. “I went from thinking, ‘I don’t have a story’ to ‘Oh, wait, I have 100 stories,’" she explains. "And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process."
The Oscar winner also recalls when a producer invited her onto his private plane. "It was just the two of us, and only one bed was made up. Nothing happened, I was not assaulted," she notes. "I did make a point of saying, ‘This does not make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected. But that was super not OK, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative. I was scared."
Now, Portman -- who stars in the upcoming female-driven sci-fi movie Annihilation -- says she's grateful to have found some friends and confidants in the industry. “Recently, I’ve been spending more time with other actresses, not in a fake ‘just because we’re actresses so we should hang out’ way," she continues. "I feel there’s been a shift. I felt that way on Annihilation too, working with a strong female ensemble cast. We are used to being ‘the girl’ on set. It was such a joy to be with a group of women.”
At this year's Women's March in Los Angeles, California, Portman also addressed the crowd and said that the comments made about her body when she was just a teenager "served to control [her] behavior through an environment of sexual terrorism."