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NATALIE PORTMAN NEWS - 2000

Portman Wants No University Stalkers
14th November 2000
Actress Natalie Portman (photos) is determined to keep potential stalkers away at her new university - so she's adopted a different surname. Natalie star has taken her maternal grandmother's maiden name while at Harvard, so she can keep a low profile while studying. She says, "I don't want to have visitors, to be completely blunt. All I've heard is that when Brooke Shields (photos) was at Princeton, she had hundreds of visitors a year. I don't want that. I don't want to hang out with people I don't know "Some people may find that rude, because fans immediately think that, you know, they can be your friend, and that's not the relationship I want to have." The 19-year-old admits her friends at Harvard are all such high achievers she is as much in awe of them as they are of her. She adds, "Everyone I'm around, they're the most amazing people. I mean, just the people in my dorm: the guy upstairs has played cello with Yo-Yo Ma, there's a girl who's a published poet, I know a few people who went to the Olympics. These kids are all accomplished, and they're interested in my life, but I'm as interested in theirs and it's not like, 'Oh my God, you're in a movie!'"

Star Wars Security Breach?
6th September 2000
The tough security surrounding Star Wars films is legendary - but now a fan is claiming they have a copy of the long-awaited script for Star Wars: Episode II (2002) abd is planning to sell it for $100,000 over the internet. The script to the eagerly-anticipated film, which stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen, would be incredibly valuable to die hard fans of the sci-fi series. Lucasfilm Ltd.. has issued a statement saying it reserves the right "to decline comment on any possible investigations associated with unauthorized or unlawful use or possession of our copyrighted property." The theft came to light after the hacker offered the script to Star Wars fan-site theforce.net, who reported the alleged leak to the movie's makers Lucasfilm.

Natalie Portman Falls For Star Wars Co-Star
23rd August 2000
Natalie Portman has reportedly fallen in love - with her Star Wars: Episode II (2002) co-star Hayden Christensen. Christensen won the coveted part of Anakin Skywalker in the second prequel after an initially unconvinced George Lucas - who thought he was too young for the part - was bowled over by his red- hot screen-test with Portman, who is returning to her role as Queen Amidala. Online sources report that the pair are crazy about each other and are getting in some useful practice for their on-screen love scenes.

Shue's Not Important
7th August 2000
Elisabeth Shue was worried she would be treated as a superstar when she began at her new college - but students were more interested in Natalie Portman. The fears flared up on her first day at Harvard when somebody came up to her with an excited look on her face. But they receded when the person opened her mouth and said, "Did you hear? Natalie Portman's going to this school!" Shue laughs, "It was really the talk of the campus. Everyone was like, 'Have you seen Natalie?' 'Have you heard she's here?' I began looking for her after a while. I finally saw her once, but we didn't say anything."

Aussie Actors Feel The Force
28th June 2000
The new Star Wars movie is going down-under after recruiting seven young actors from Australia and New Zealand. Jay Laga'aia, 'Leanna Walsman', Rose Byrne, Veronica Segura, David Bowers, Matthew Rowan and Daniel Logan have all landed plum parts in Star Wars: Episode II (2002) which began filming in Sydney, Australia yesterday Monday. Their parts - which are being closely guarded - include a 'skilled bounty hunter', an 'indulgent politician', a 'high-ranking Senate official ' and a 'mysterious young boy'. The film's casting director Robin Gurland has been surprised by the abundance of talent available to him. He says, "it's been terribly exciting to discover the wealth of talent in Australia." The Antipodeans will join stars Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson and Natalie Portman, who have all been confirmed for the film.

Hayden's Chemistry With Natalie Portman
6th June 2000
Star Wars: Episode II (2002) director George Lucas chose Hayden Christensen for the part of ANAKIN SKYWALKER over Tom Hanks' son Colin Hanks because the unknown actor had more sexual chemistry. Lucas stunned the world when he cast Christensen in the coveted part last month. And the move left Hanks' son disappointed as he failed to snap up the space adventure part. Lucas insists he chose the young actor because he had more raw talent and more sexual chemistry with actress Natalie Portman than Colin did. Lucas says, "It took over a year for us to find Hayden. We did a lot of testing and then I picked him and interviewed him and he did some readings and then finally we tested him with Natalie Portman... When he tested with Natalie we wanted to see what the chemistry was like and it worked. I needed to find solid acting talent and someone who embodied the character and Hayden was it."

New Anakin Skywalker Thanks Natalie Portman For Part
16th May 2000
HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN is thanking his sizzling on-screen chemistry with NATALIE PORTMAN for his shock casting in the next two STAR WARS movies. The little-known Canadian actor beat 441 other candidates to bag the coveted role in the two remaining Star Wars prequels, EPISODES II and III. And the 19-year-old star believes his chemistry with Portman won him the role because Episode II centers on the steamy relationship between his character ANAKIN SKYWALKER and her QUEEN AMIDALA. Christensen says, "The auditions became all about meeting Natalie. It was just the thrill of shooting with her. I believe I have chemistry with her and that is key to my getting the part."

George Lucas Chooses Next Anakin Skywalker
4th May 2000
GEORGE LUCAS is in the final stages of choosing the actor to play ANAKIN SKYWALKER in Star Wars: Episode II (2002). Over the past weekend the legendary director invited a handful of candidates to SKYWALKER RANCH to do a digital screen test opposite NATALIE PORTMAN who plays QUEEN AMIDALA. And producer RICK MCCALLUM says the world should know who has won the high profile role in the next few weeks. He adds, "The casting of Anakin is always a very emotional thing. It could be several weeks before we know anything." Hollywood gossips still claim TOM HANK'S son COLIN is the frontrunner.

Will Natalie Portman Give Up Acting?
28th April 2000
Actress NATALIE PORTMAN looks set to give up her soaring big-screen career for her books. The PHANTOM MENACE star - who recently began as an Ivy Leaguer at Harvard - says she would like to be a clinical psychologist. She says, "I'm ready to ditch the movies and keep at the books. There are so many other things, and it would feel limiting to say, 'Acting is it for me.'... I love psychology. That's what I'm studying right now. It would probably be difficult, because of my current occupation, to become a clinical psychologist, but I could certainly do research. And I'd like to have a family someday, too."

Natalie Portman Ponders Motherhood
26th April 2000
Teenage movie star NATALIE PORTMAN is getting broody after portraying a young mother in her new movie Where the Heart Is (2000). The 18-year-old PHANTOM MENACE star admits she was a bit awkward with handling a baby at first, but the experience sparked her own maternal desires. She explains, "It was really wonderful because I'm an only child and I never baby-sat growing up so I never really had any experience with kids. "All of a sudden I do this movie and they give me a baby and they're like, 'hold it!'... I was a little awkward dealing with it at first but it made me really excited for the future."

Natalie In The Dark About Star Wars Lover
14th April 2000
GEORGE LUCAS is keeping the identity of NATALIE PORTMAN's love interest in the next STAR WARS movie secret - because he doesn't trust her. The talented actress will reprise the role of QUEEN AMIDALA in the follow-up to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) and knows she'll be playing opposite a new ANAKIN SKYWALKER. But director Lucas is so worried she'll let the identity of her leading man slip, he's refusing to tell her who he is. She says, "I'm reading with potential Anakins at the end of the month. I asked George Lucas who some of the guys are but he refused to tell me... All I know is that EWAN MCGREGOR, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, JAR JAR BINKS and YODA are all returning for the next episode." Shooting begins in Australia in June.

Episode II Hoax?
14th November 2000
Internet movie portal IFilm is publishing what is purported to be a letter from an executive of 20th Century Fox to an executive of Lucasfilm, expressing concern that Star Wars: Episode II (2002) may contain too much adult material and may be "treading into PG-13 territory, or, even more troubling, R." The letter (http://www.ifilm.com/db/static_text/0, 1699, 8780, 00.html) then goes on to describe so many over-the-top scenes that its authenticity would appear dubious at best. For example, it refers to a love scene between the Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman characters "on Naboo after the space-bike race." The scene, the Fox exec says, "seems to play too rough, especially for younger viewers who may still be coming to terms with this suddenly grown-up version of young Anakin. ('Oh, that I could drive myself into you, not to satisfy myself, but to satisfy you.')" The letter goes on to note that another Fox exec "is an ardent Jar Jar booster and has some cogent thoughts on his assassination sequence that he would be more than willing to share." [IFilm recently presented a short film spoof on its site called Jar Jar Binks: The E! True Hollywood Story]

Artisan And Miramax Doing Dirty Dancing Together
12th May 2000
Artisan Entertainment co-CEO Amir Malin and Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein have announced at Cannes that they will produce a sequel to the 1987 hit Dirty Dancing (1987). They indicated that they hope to land Ricky Martin and Natalie Portman for the leads.
Agency Confirms Christensen Will Play Anakin
11th May 2000
A representative of the Gersh Agency has confirmed that George Lucas has signed 19-year-old Hayden Christensen to play Anakin Skywalker in the next two Star Wars movies, the CBC reported Wednesday. The selection had been reported by Daily Variety last week but Lucasfilm had dismissed the report as rumor. The CBC said that Lucas had been impressed with Christensen's screen tests with Natalie Portman.

Lucas Screen-Tests Would-Be Anakins
2nd May 2000
Last weekend George Lucas screen-tested "a handful of candidates" opposite Natalie Portman for the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II (2002), according to a statement posted on the official Star Wars Web site <www.starwars.com> today (Tuesday). None of the actors who participated in the screen tests was identified. Producer Rick McCallum described the tests, recorded with Sony/Panavision HDTV cameras (the statement referred to "Panasonic, " presumably an error), as "just one step in the process" of making the final choice. McCallum added, "It could be several weeks before we know anything."

Phillippe Favored To Play Anakin In Episode II
20th April 2000
Ryan Phillippe is the overwhelming favorite of Star Wars fans to play Anakin Skywalker in Episode II, the online edition of Entertainment Weekly reported Wednesday. Phillippe drew 38 percent of the vote conducted by EW Online, more than twice the votes of his closest runner up, former General Hospital regular Jonathan Jackson (17 percent) and Dawson's Creek costar Joshua Jackson (16.5 percent). The magazine, however, pointed out that the chances of Phillippe actually being cast in the role are slim, inasmuch as he would have to appear to be six years younger than his co-star, Natalie Portman. In real life, Philippe, who is 25, is seven years older than the 18-year-old Portmen. (Nevertheless no 12 year olds are being considered for the role.)



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