Payday Loans
Natalie Portman


  1. Claire Danes, Little Women, 1994.      As sickly Beth for Australian director Gillian Armstrong. Portman’s father gave her a rule to work by: "If I haven’t done it in real life, I shouldn’t do it on-screen." Like  interfacing with aliens before Mars Attacks...?
  2. Kirsten Dunst, Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, 1994.
  3. Claire Danes, Romeo + Juliet, 1996.      Considered for Juliet and got as far as flying to Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s hometown of   Sydney, to film scenes with Leonardo DiCaprio (as Romeo), when 20th Century Fox couldn’t quite visualize Baz’s off-the-wall concept. “Although she’s a fantastic young actor,” said Baz, “she's a tiny and Leonardo’s 6ft. He's 21, but can look 18. She made him look all of 21, and it just became obscene.” Natalie added: “They said it looked like Leonardo was molesting me...”
  4. Dominique Swain   Lolita, 1997.    More than 2,500 girls tried to succeed 1961’s Sue Lyon…  But UK director Adrian Lyne’s shortlist only had room for: Swain, Melissa Joan Hart, Jennifer Love Hewitt, the unknown (then and now) Nadia Litz… and Natalie Portman. “It was widely reported that my parents were over-protective prudes. Not so. They just didn’t want to see their 14-year-old having sex with Jeremy Irons. And I would’ve been pretty upset to be in a sex scene...  before I’d even experienced it in real life.”
  5. Christina Ricci, Ice Storm, 1997.   “Too dark. Too much nudity!” She preferred director Ted Demme's Beautiful Girls and Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You.   Ricci had also been up for Lolita.
  6. Scarlett Johansson, The Horse Whisperer, 1997.      No to Redford - because of her yes to The Diary of Anne Frank on Broadway.
  7. Claire Danes, Les miserables, 1997.      Not often that a French film-maker’s discovery  - Luc Besson found her, at age 12,   for Léon, 1994 - has won such global success.
  8. Bridget Fonda, A Simple Plan, 1998.      When UK film-maker John Boorman took over from Ben Stiller and John Dall, he selected a very young wife for Bill Paxton.   (By 2006, Bill had three wives in TV’s   Big Love).
  9. Anna Paquin, X-Men quartet, 1999-2013.    “Mutation: it is the key to our evolution.”  RLC and the Canadian Katharine Isabelle were the main contenders for Marie D’Ancanto/Rogue. Followed by Kirsten Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christina Ricci. Natalie Portman rejected the rôle… but changed her mind about comix as Jane Foster in the Marvelverse Thor and Avengers movies. (RLC and Paquin  were co-starred in She’s All That, 1999).
  10. Penelope Cruz, All The Pretty Horses, 1999.      When Miramax suggested the Star Wars girl as the Mexican rancher’s daughter, actor-director Billy Bob Thornton made the obvious comment. “Lovely girl. Wonderful actress.  She ain’t Mexican!”   Nor was Penelope.

  11. Kate Hudson, Almost Famous, 2000.  Looking for his Penny Lane groupie in his semi-autobiographical look back to his Rolling Stone reporter daze, auteur Cameron Crowe saw 48 of LA’s bright young things… Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Lara Flynn Boyle, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jenna Elfman, Jennie Garth, Maggie Gyllenhal, Alyson Hannigan, Angie Harmon, Anne Heche, Katherine Heigl, Jordan Ladd, Kimberly McCullough (busier as a TV director these days, High School Musical: The Musical - The Series, etc), Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Brittany Murphy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Prepon, Lindsay Price, Christina Ricci, Rebecca Romijn, Winona Ryder, Chloë Sevigny, Marley Shelton,  Tori Spelling, Mena Suvari, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, Lark Voorhies.  Plus the English Saffron Burrows, Anna Friel, Thandiwe Newton and Rachel Weisz, Madrid’s Penélope Cruz, the French Charlotte Gainsbourg, Canada’s Natasha Henstridge, Ukrainian Milla Jovovich, Scottish Kelly Macdonald, Israeli Natalie Portman, German Franka Potente, Australian Peta Wilson and Welsh Catherine Zeta-Jones.  And the winner, Canada’s Sarah Polley, simply split. (Silly girl).  Crowe then chose Kate  (previously booked  for Anita) because “she seemed more like a free spirit.”  But, but, but… Chloë  was the freest spirit in all Hollywood. As she proved two years later in The Brown Bunny... in a way the others would never have dared.
  12. Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York, 2000.  For Martin Scorsese, casting was easy. In 1978, Dan Aykroyd-John Belushi were Amsterdam and The Butcher. (WTF?)  Or, Mel Gibson-Willem Dafoe. By 1984, Malcolm McDowell-Robert De Niro. Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio-Daniel Day Lewis. Much harder to locate the real prim pickpocket Jenny Everdeane. For the brothers blue, she would have been Jane Fonda. When Buffy The Vampire Slayer got into Sarah MIchelle Gellar’s way, Marty checked Christina Applegate (from his 1990 Cape Fear auditions), Kate Beckinsale, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Heather Graham, Bryce Dallas Howard, Alyssa Milano, Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder, Mena Suvari… and chose Sarah Polley. Except the suits insisted on a “bankable star.” As if Scorsese-DiCaprio-Day Lewis weren’t enough. Diaz’s six week contracted lasted six months - and did her no good at all!    

  13. Jordana Brewster, The Fast and The Furious,  2000.   Vin Diesel ‘s sister, Mia Toretto was written for Eliza Dushku but she passed. Portman auditioned, as did Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Bijou Phillips. Brewster then didn’t make another film for three years and eventually  re-franchised in  chapters 4, 5, 6 and was filming #7 when co-star Paul Walker as killed in an off-duty  car crash on November 30, 2013. At age 40. He was not driving.

  14. Jennifer Garner, Daredevil, 2002.     “How did I become Action Girl?” asked Garner.  Because 22 other girls were not punching their weight in TV’s Alias every week. They were Jessica Alba, Jolene Blalock, Neve Campbell, Penelope Cruz, Portia de Rossi, Eliza Dushku, Claire Forlani, Angie Harmon, Salma Hayek, Katie Holmes, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Lucy Liu, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Bridget Moynahan, Natalie Portman, Kyra Sedgwick, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon.  Plus the Norwegian ballet dancer Natassia Malthe, who became Typhoid in Garner’s 2004 Elektra spin-off.   Garner reportedly KOed Affleck accidentally in one scene – he still married her three years later! Garner reportedly KOed the blind hero, Ben Affleck, in one scene – he still married her three years later!

  15. Nicole Kidman, Cold Mountain, 2002.      Auditioned as Ada... awaiting the return of her guy from the Civil War as she runs the family farm with scrappy Ruby.
  16. Anna Paquin, Darkness, 2002.    Spanish director Jaume Balaguero worked hard on trying to land Natalie. “I don’t go wagging my boobs around in people’s faces.”
  17. Kate Hudson, Le Divorce, 2002.      Tied to Cold Mountain as Merchant-Ivory went modern-day.Theyreally missed the corsets.
  18. Diane Kruger, Troy, 2004.      According to the daily newspaper The Times of London (actresses competing for the role included Halle Berry, Keira Knightley Kristin Kreuk, Jennifer Lopez. Sophie Marceau, Connie Nielsen,Catherine Zeta-Jones.
  19. Romola Garai, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, 2004.      Natalie and Ricky Martin were dream-team choices for Katey and Javier.
  20. Naomi Watts, King Kong, 2005.Back in 1998, New Zealand’s iconic director Peter Jackson wanted Kate Winslet - his Heavenly Creatures was her first movie in 1994. He then looked at everyone else...

  21. Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, 2006.
  22. Anne Hathaway, Becoming Jane, 2006.   Despite their differing ages,  Hathaway, 24, Knightley, 21, Natalie Portman, 25 and Kate Winslet, 31, were up for the 20-year-old  heroine of the (mainly fictional) biopic based upon Jane Austen’s…  letters!  James McAvoy was her penniless Irish lover and obvious model for her future creation, Mr Darcy. Portman preferred Milos Forman’s  Goya’s Ghosts.
  23. Sienna Miller, Factory Girl, 2006.   Back in the 80s, Linda Fiorentino was set for… well, not exactly this script, but the same tragic life of Andy Warhol “superstar” Edie Sedgwick. Also in  the 80s,  Warren tried to persuade direcor Bob Fosse to make the bio-pic with Michelle Pfeiffer (or Molly Ringwald) and Al Pacino as Warhol.  Twenty years later, direcor Mike Nichols and Natalie Portman planned their version  of the poor little rich kid’s life  - then collaborated on  Closer, instead. Vogue’s  youthquakewas  dead at 28.
  24. Jacinda Barrett, The Namesake, India-US, 2006.      Kate Hudson was also in the frame to join Bollywood star Tabu in the feature from by India’s sole international film-maker, Mira Nair.
  25. Cate Blanchett, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2007.
  26. Amy Adams, Doubt, 2008.      Directing the film version of 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, John Patrick Shanley, invited Natalie to play the young nun bringing a problem toSister Meryl Streep's attention. “Natalie was very interested,” he said, “but kept saying she had a problem…  She didn’t understand celibacy.”
  27. Gemma Arterton, Wuthering Heights, 2009.      Natalie jumped out of the Emily Bronte project almost as quickly as she’d leapt in. Her Heathcliff, Michael Fassbender, also quit -providing big breaks for Bondacious Gemma and Gossip Girl hunk Ed Westwick. “We’ve cast it as written,” said producer Robert Bernstein. "Heathcliff's a teen and the story takes him into his early 20s. Cathy is just as young."
  28. Mandy Moore, Tangled, 2009.   “Being a Disney Princess,” said Mandy, “is every girl's ultimate dream.” Also in the Rapunzel frame for Disney's 50th toon feature: Portman, Kristin Chenoweth, Reese Witherspoon - and the co-stars of Frozen, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel. In fact, Portman’s audition work was used to voice for early pencil drawn tests of the heroine.
  29. Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009.  Well, Robin was an Aussie, too - Russell Crowe. Sienna Miller won the maid, er widow Marion (sic) from several candidates: Scarlett, Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan.Then, Sienna dropped out and a whole new search began... among Blanchett, Rachel Weisz and Kate Winslet.  Director Ridley Scott said the only good Sherwood movie was made by  Mel Brooks!
  30. Kate Hudson, The Killer Inside Me, 2009.    As directors changed from Andrew Dominik and Marc Rocco to Michael Winterbottom, so did the favourites to play. Amy Stanton,battered girlfriend of the mild-spoken, intellectual psychopath. The other choices included Katherine Heigl, Sienna Miller, Michelle Williams and, finally, Kate.

  31. Scarlett Johansson, Iron Man 2, 2009.     Scarlett proved her commitment to becoming Natalie Rushman aka Natalie Romanoff aka Black Widow - by dying her blonde tresses... scarlett.  Those who did not included two Jessicas (Alba and Biel), Gemma Arterton, Emily Blunt (Guliver’s Travels got in the way), Eliza Dushku, Natalie Portman. Plus Angelina Jolie, who led Marvel’s The Eternals, 2019, after  Natalie won Jane Foster in the Thor franchise.
  32. Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009.  Well, Robin was an Aussie, too - Russell Crowe. Sienna Miller won the maid, er widow Marion (sic) from several candidates: Scarlett, Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, Angelina Jolie,Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan. Then, Sienna dropped out and a whole new search began... among Blanchett, Rachel Weisz and Kate Winslet.  Director Ridley Scott said the only good Sherwood movie was made by  Mel Brooks!
  33. Rooney Mara,  Girl With The Dragon Tattoo2010.
  34. Zoe Saldana, Colombiana, France, 2010.   First planned by Paris auteur Luc Besson as a sequel to Portman’s feature film debut, Leon: The Professional, following her Mathilda 16 years later as she kills her and Leon’s enemies. Trouble was Besson had created a superstar and she was just too busy. He gave his script to realisateur Oliver Megaton and the superbly slinkier Saldana.
  35. Kaya Scodelario, Wuthering Heights,  2010.   Seemed a daft idea coming, as it did, just two years after the Tom Hardy-Charlotte Riley TVersion. (They wed in 2014). Both films were shot, correctly in Yorkshire. This one had more problems about Catherine.  Natalie was cast first, then succeeded by Gemma Arterton, then succeeded by Sodelario… James Howson was an Afro-Caribbean Heathcliffe, as clearly implied by Jane Austen: a  "dark-skinned gipsy" and "a little Lascar.”
  36. Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby, 2011.    Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s hunt for Daisy in the fourth Gatsby movie since 1926 matched all the season’s other major auditions. As if the only actresses left on planet earth were: Portman, Jessica Alba, Abbie Cornish, Eva Green, Rebecca Hall, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightley, Blake Lively, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Williams. And Mulligan... soon sobbing on a red carpet, after  being  handed a phone. “It was Baz:  Hello Daisy!” (Except, sadly, she wasn’t).
  37. Noomi Rapace, Prometheus, 2011.     Among the season’s usual testees chasing Ridley Scott’s (is it?/it isn’t/oh yes, it is) Alien prequel - Gemma Arterton, Abbie Cornish, Anne Hathaway, Carey Mulligan, Olivia Wilde. The initially cast Charlize Theron switched toMeredith Vickers, instead. Then,Ridley Scott beat all Hollywood to signing The Girl of the Hour - aka Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, inSweden’s Millennium trilogy.
  38. Doona Bae, Cloud Atlas, US-Germany-Hong Kong-Singapore, 2011.   In London, circa 2004, while shooting V For Vendetta for the Wachowski siblings (Lana and Andy at the time, now Lana and Lilly) Natalie gave David Mitchell’s novel to them. Throughout the years of writing a script with German director pal Tom Tykwer, Portman was promised Somni-451 and five other roles (like Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, etc). During the wait for a budget, Portman became pregnant - she got a thanks credit. Her successor, the South Korean model turned actress, also appeared in the next Wachowski project, Jupiter Ascending, 2014.
  39. Amy Adams, Man of Steel, 2011.
  40. Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises, 2011.

  41. Sandra Bullock, Gravity, 2012.      Once Angelina Jolie passed (twice), they all wanted the 3D sf special written by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron and his son, Jonas - Natalie, Abbie Cornish , Marion Cotillard, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johannsson, Blake Lively, Sienna Miller, Casey Mulligan, Naomi Watts, Olivia Wilde…  Because the female astronauts is alone on-screen for most of the movie.  Sorry about that, George Clooney.
  42. Penelope Cruz, The Counselor, 2012.    Ridley Scott looked atNat and then voted Cruz. Her husband, Javier Bardem, was also cast - although, for the first time in a filmtogether, they never shared a scene.
  43. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl, 2013.   Emily Blunt, Abbie Cornish, Julianne  Hough, Rooney Mara, Charlize Theron, Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon were also discussed for Amy, who goes missing on her wedding anniversary. A great Briton won…
  44. Mila Kunis, Jupiter Ascending, 2013.     After Portman (wisely) quit her second Wachowski siblings’ movie (Cloud Atlas was the first), Rooney Mara was seen before Kunis, a Portman pal and her Black Swan co-star, became Jupiter Jones, a toilet cleaner when first met. Hence Houston critic Chris Sawin said the s(l)oppy 2015 release was “more of a motivational video for janitors and housemaids everywhere than a satisfying piece of entertainment.” Oh dear. 
  45. Marion Cotillard, Macbeth, 2014.    The French Oscar-winner was a surprise replacement when Portman changed her mind about being Lady Macbeth - opposite Michael Fassbender, the fourth of the X-Men guys to play the role, after James McAvoy, Ian McKellan and Sir Patrick Stewart.  By now Portman was running her own show with Handsomecharlie Films.
  46. Lily James, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, 2014.     All set for the revisionist Elizabeth Bennet until delays clashed with her schedule. Portman remained on board as one of seven producers while Lily Collins, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Emma Stone and Mia Wasikowska were rung up Jane Austen flagpoles.
  47. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs, 2015.     In the frame for Joanna Hoffman - Jobs’ most trusted friend and consort, part of both the Macintosh and NeXT teams.
  48. Dakota Johnson, Suspiria, Italy-US, 2016.  Eight years earlier, when David Gordon Green was due to re-make Dario Argento’s 1976 giallo classic, Portman was booked for the ballerina heroine. Instead, her ballet training led her into winning an Oscar for Black Swan,  Italian maestro Luca Guadagnino directed his own production but his friend, Argento, was not excited by Luca’s version.  "It betrayed the spirit of the original,” he told Italy’s Rai 1 TV  channel. “There is no fear.“  This was Dakota’s  second successive Luca   film. Shooting was so intense, she told Elle magazine, “that it fucked me up so much that I had to go into therapy.”  And DGG stayed in the neighbourhood, producer-directing  2020s’ cinema or TV chapters of The  Exorcist, Halloween  andHellraiser.
  49. Felicity Jones, On The Basis of Sex, 2017.    The subject could not have been timelier… After four years, Portman gave up waiting for the project to roll and the British Jones depicted Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s struggle for equal rights and become the second woman appointed (by President Clinton in 1993) as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
  50. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci, 2021.  Ridley Scott’s Succession, Italian Style,  had been on many shelves over the years..  In one nearly done deal, Maurizio Gucci and his wife, Patrizia Reggiani, were set for Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie. Other potentials Patrizias (who ordered his murder) were Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Margot Robbie, plus two of Scott’s previous leading ladies: Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz. But Gaga had the winning improvisation when making the sign of the cross, saying: “Father, Son and  House of  Gucci.”





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