The beginnings of Natalie Portman
Among the many common points shared by the two actresses, there is a year: 1994, that of the theatrical release of their very first role in the cinema for each of them. For Natalie Portman, it is already one of the most cult since it is Mathilda, Leon’s Lolita destroyer, forming with the hitman played by Jean Reno a touching couple, but also one of the most disturbing of the seventh art.
A role that sums up the ambition of the young teenager, born to an American mother and an Israeli doctor father, who already knows exactly what she wants, refusing a modeling career to become an actress.
In less than two years of career, the young woman goes on filming with prestigious directors and can already boast at the age of fifteen of having filmed for Michael Mann (Heat, where she plays the daughter-in-law of Al Pacino), Woody Allen (Everyone Says I Love You) and Tim Burton (Mars Attacks!). And that’s just the beginning.
Natalie Portman talks about Leon: “This movie gave me a career but it’s really embarrassing”
The beginnings of Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson can boast of being the precocious of the two since she was only ten years old when Rob Reiner’s The Irresistible North came out, a baptism of fire however more modest since she only did a short appearance. But at the time, the young girl born to a Danish architect and a librarian from the Bronx was already well established since she had already played in the theater alongside Ethan Hawke from the age of eight!
After having had the role of little Judy in Jumanji blown by Kirsten Dunst, Scarlett went on to play unnoticed small roles (especially in Mom, I missed the plane! 3) before truly revealing herself to the public in 1998 , thanks to Robert Redford and The Horse Whisperer. A role originally planned for … Natalie Portman! The latter had to refuse, already occupied by a theatrical adaptation of the Diary of Anne Frank.
The great success of the film in the United States truly launched the career of Scarlett, who then continued with two other very noticed roles in Ghost World by Terry Zwigoff then The Barber by the Coen brothers.
The Horse Whisperer: The Film That Revealed Scarlett Johansson
The star roles of Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman’s notoriety exploded at the end of the 1990s thanks to The Phantom Menace, but she continued to alternate between blockbusters (particularly by joining the Thor saga, at Marvel) and independent productions, from Garden State (Zach Braff , 2004) to Aboard the Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, 2007).
In 2008, the actress who has been immersed in the cinema since she was little, goes on to direct. First with courts (a segment of New York, I Love Youas well as’Eve, then 7 years later for the drama A story of love and darkness.
Natalie Portman says she’s ready to return to Star Wars
Scarlett Johansson’s star roles
The detonator of Scarlett Johansson’s career came a few years later, in 2003. A few months apart, two roles made her the new darling of Hollywood by immortalizing her beauty in all its forms: fragile and disoriented in front of Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, she metamorphoses into an incendiary femme fatale in Match Point, where she puts Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and a good number of male spectators, at her feet. Woody Allen fell in love with his new muse, who joined the circle of Allenian heroines for two other films: Scoop (which he wrote to measure for her) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Since then, she has also alternated between more or less popular auteur cinema (Le dahlia noir by Brian de Palma, Under the Skin by Jonathan Glazer, Her by Spike Jonze), and the more or less naughty Hollywood blockbuster (The Island by Michael Bay , The Prestige by Christopher Nolan, Lucy by Luc Besson). And since 2010, she has been the female surety of the Avengers, repeatedly playing Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow.
Woody Allen – Match Point: “With Scarlett Johansson, everything harmonizes”
The Natalie Portman Awards
From this side, it is undoubtedly much easier to decide between the two actresses. The reason lies in a film and a role: that of the prima ballerina Nina Sayers in Black Swan. A role that earned her more than twenty awards from around the world, and above all the prestigious trio Bafta-Golden Globe-Oscar for best actress in 2011. What’s more, it was the second Golden Globe of the career of the actress, already winner in 2005 for Closer by Mike Nichols, which also earned her her second Oscar nomination.
Natalie Portman: the best of her interviews in Première
The Scarlett Johansson Awards
On the side of Scarlett, the prize list is a little thinner. Only a BAFTA for best actress came to crown her performance in Lost in Translation. She was nominated twice for the Oscars, in 2020, in first role for Marriage Story and second for Jojo Rabbit. She lost, however, to Renée Zellweger and Laura Dern.
Natalie Portman’s recent projects
After completing (more than painfully) the western Jane Got a Gun, giving birth in pain after more than eight years of production, Natalie Portman found Terrence Malick after Knight of Cups. She also made a detour to French cinema with Planetarium, the film by Rebecca Zlotowski (Belle épine, Grand central) alongside Lily-Rose Depp. But she especially marked the spirits in Jackie by Pablo Larrain, where she lent her features to Jackie Kennedy in person. She will soon return in May December, by Todd Haynes, which caused a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival 2023.
Cannes 2023 – May December: Todd Haynes in sour and sarcastic melody mode
Scarlett Johansson’s recent projects
Actress of the Golden Age of Hollywood in Hail, Caesar! of the Coen brothers or voice of the serpent Kaa in the new adaptation of The Jungle Book then of a porcupine in Tous en scène by Illumination studios (Me, ugly and nasty), Scarlett multiplied eclectic roles in the 2010s. She was also the heroine of the live adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, as well as the heroine of Lucy, by Luc Besson, which adds a point in common with Natalie.
Johansson recently said goodbye to Black Widow by linking Avengers Endgame and a prequel dedicated to the character, and she received acclaim for A Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit. This year, she was noticed in Asteroid City, directed by Wes Anderson, a filmmaker who had therefore flashed for Portman a few years earlier for his Darjeeling. The circle is complete !
Tom Cruise absolutely wants to work with Scarlett Johansson
Fashion and humanitarian
Little bonus beyond the cinema…
Alongside this busy career, Natalie Portman is also, like many actresses of her status, a fashion icon, and muse since 2010 of the Dior brand, having already participated in several memorable advertising campaigns, particularly for perfumes of the creator. At the same time, this vegetarian activist, committed to PETA, is also involved in the humanitarian fight for women and children in the Third World, in particular in favor of micro-credit to fight against extreme poverty in Africa and America. central. She is also a claimed political activist, having notably supported Barack Obama during his election in 2008.
Scarlett Johansson shares the same political commitment with Natalie Portman, the actress having been one of the most publicly invested stars in the electoral campaigns of Barack Obama, of which she is an early supporter. She also put her notoriety at the service of noble causes, notably alongside Bono.
Her status as a sex symbol has also made her one of the most popular stars in the fashion world, since she is (or was) the face of Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal, among others. , Reebok, Dolce&Gabbana and Mango.
Video: Natalie Portman in five films, from Léon to Jackie