Natalie Portman is interviewed by Jake Gyllenhaal for this month's Interview Magazine. Jake proves adept and inventive as a questioner, covering subjects from Mount Rushmore to hallucination, ice cream cake to jetlag.
Jake's a Baskin Robbins man, FYI.
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: I thought I would start off our interview with a little section that I’d like to call The Icebreaker. Are you sitting down?
GYLLENHAAL: So let’s begin. Mount Rushmore honors four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. If you could add any person to Mount Rushmore, who would it be and why?
Neither Natalie nor Jake can figure out who should get that honor, so the subject moves to childhood toys.
PORTMAN: Oh, that’s really good. I was like a total clichéd ’80s child. I had Barbies, obviously, as well as My Little Ponies and Cabbage Patch Kids, but I used to destroy them. I used to draw all over their faces and cut off their hair.
GYLLENHAAL: Do you remember Garbage Pail Kids?
PORTMAN: Oh, yeah. The cards.
GYLLENHAAL: They had names like Raked Jake and stuff like that.
GYLLENHAAL: Yeah. He was like a Cabbage Patch Kid who’d been raked over.
That is a very scary image!
Natalie mentiones the Smurfs and Jake doesn't invoke Donnie Darko by name but the evil Gargamel is discussed.
That, naturally, leads to time travel.
GYLLENHAAL: So, then, let me ask you this: If you could get into a time machine, to what place and period would you travel?
PORTMAN: Well, right now, I’m very fascinated with 1920s Berlin. I mean, probably the more interesting thing would be to go to the beginning of civilization or precivilization—like polytheistic times. It would be interesting to see what came before modern religion and culture—what circumstances created the environment or the need for it. I actually felt like I was in a time machine last week when I went with Jay-Z to the Laserium in Los Angeles.
They discuss Natalie's love of dirty rap. I'm sure we all remember Natalie's SNL rap performance:
What I'd like to see or hear is a tape of this exchange:
PORTMAN: Really, really obscene hip-hop. I love it so much. It makes me laugh and then it makes me want to dance. Those are like my two favorite things, so combined . . . I’ve been listening a lot lately to “Wait (The Whisper Song)” by the Ying Yang Twins, where the lyrics are like, “Wait ’til you see my dick”—which is just amazing because it’s whispered. [whispers] “Wait ’til you see my dick . . . ” [laughs] Crazy. So I just listen to it like I’m a five-year-old, like, “Oh my god! I can’t believe he just said that!”
GYLLENHAAL: It’s interesting that you think the lyric “Wait ’til you see my dick” describes your current state. I think people are learning more about you right now then they ever have in an interview. I’m proud of that.
After some quick career counseling for Natalie, the interview ends with Jake asking for jetlag-curing tips. Jake is apparently wary of Ambien, after a bad trip:
GYLLENHAAL: My favorite situation that I was ever in was when I was on a plane with a group of people and all of them took Ambien except for me, and two of them had adverse reactions. They were awake and aggressive . . . Apparently aggression is one of the side effects of Ambien.
PORTMAN: And they were completely unaware, right—like they didn’t remember it after?
GYLLENHAAL: No, I think they remember it. Everyone else was dead asleep, and these two people were like, bashing their heads against the side of the plane, trying to jump out. So I was like, If taking this pill means that there’s even a 30 percent chance of me getting aggressive like that, then I would just rather stay at peace.
PORTMAN: You’re a very peaceful man, Jake.
It's a wonderful interview - definitely check out the rest of the excerpts. There are some dramatic photos of Natalie, as well.
(Photos courtesy of IHJ. Garbage Pail photo courtesy of GPKWorld.)