Everyone has regrets.
For Natalie Portman, it was signing a petition to release Roman Polanski from Swiss custody in 2009 after he was arrested for an old warrant connected to the rape of a 13-year-old girl.
In a new interview with Buzzfeed, the Annihilation star admits she made a mistake by “not thinking about it enough” and simply signing her name because someone she respected asked her to.
She explained to the outlet:
“I very much regret it. I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough. Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, ├óΓé¼╦£I signed this. Will you, too?’ And I was like, ├óΓé¼╦£Sure.'”
Portman was just one of the many famous names reported to have signed the petition in 2009. Other stars including Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, and Darren Aronofsky demanded “the immediate release” of Polanski after he was arrested for a then-decades old warrant related to his rape case.
Of course, 2009 was a “different world,” the actress professes — one where Hollywood was turning a blind eye to all the #MeToo stories it systematically generated.
But even under the lens of Time’s Up, the 36-year-old says she gained something from signing the petition: the ability to empathize with people who make mistakes. She continued:
“It was a mistake. The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes. We lived in a different world, and that doesn’t excuse anything. But you can have your eyes opened and completely change the way you want to live. My eyes were not open.”
Now, Portman’s pretty peepers are open wide and ready to annihilate the patriarchy, but she stresses that the movement shouldn’t be about which man to take down next.
When asked if she thinks “Time’s Up” for Woody Allen, whom she worked with on the 1996 film Everyone Says I Love You, Portman replied:
“I don’t think that’s what the conversation should be about. I think it should be about: Why didn’t Elaine May make a movie every year? Why didn’t Nora Ephron make a movie every year? Where’s the female version of Bill Cosby? Why don’t we see any Asian women in films? There’s so much art that’s being lost by not giving opportunities to women and people of color.”
The Time’s Up advocate added:
“Let’s not talk about what man’s career is over. Let’s talk about the vast art trove we’ve lost by not giving women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community opportunities ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ let’s talk about that loss for all of us in art. Let’s talk about that huge hole in our culture. I don’t want talk about ├óΓé¼╦£Isn’t it sad that this person who’s made 500 movies can’t make movies anymore?’ That’s not for me to decide. And it’s also not what I’m upset about.”
So, what is she upset about? The quantity of shitty roles she’s STILL being offered as an Oscar winning movie star:
“It’s crazy. It’s crazy! And I get a lot more than a lot of other women, and the stuff I get, I’m like, what? With big leading roles, so often motivations are bad things happening to the children. I don’t want to play that! Literally, if you take that out, 90% of what’s sent to me, I can’t do. Or sexual violence. The number of times you’re raped onscreen ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ there are other things that can motivate women and shape their emotional worlds. It’s definitely limited.”
Thankfully, the limits are slowly ceasing to exist. Portman will be killing mutant alien hybrids with an all-female team in Annihilation, in theaters Friday.
[Image via Media Punch.]