Feted for drama, Natalie Portman now goes for laughs

Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:58pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hot off a Golden Globe win for her performance as an unhinged ballerina in the psychological thriller "Black Swan," Natalie Portman is making a sharp about face by taking on her first romantic comedy.

Portman, also seen as an Oscar front-runner for "Black Swan," stars opposite Ashton Kutcher in "No Strings Attached", which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday. The duo play friends who decide to have a strictly physical relationship but before long, their emotions creep in and mess up their groove.

It's a surprising departure for an actress who is better known for roles in science-fiction (the "Star Wars" prequels), action ("V for Vendetta"), period ("The Other Boleyn Girl") and dramas ("Closer").

"That was exactly why I was excited about doing something like this, because I hate repeating myself," said the 29-year-old. "I really love comedies -- it's my favorite genre."

And after a physically and emotionally demanding role like "Black Swan", which was followed by upcoming special effects laden comic book adaptation "Thor," the Ivan Reitman-directed "No Strings Attached" came at just the right time.

"When I got this, it was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do because it's the kind of movie I'd want to see," Portman said.

Doing a romantic comedy is not the only first for Portman this year. The actress is center stage at Hollywood awards season, while pregnant, after capturing several wins for her turn as jealous dancer Nina Sayers in "Black Swan".

Portman is expecting her first child with fiance Benjamin Millepied, a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet who she met when he served as choreographer for "Black Swan."   Continued...