Natalie Portman pays tribute to John Hurt

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 1 February 2017
Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman has praised the late sir John Hurt for his "incredible" performance in 'Jackie' and spoke of how impressed she was by his willingness to learn

Natalie Portman has praised "incredible" Sir John Hurt for his work on 'Jackie'.

The 35-year-old actress was left devastated by the passing of the veteran actor - who died of pancreatic cancer last week - as she adored working with him and thinks his casting as a priest in the Jackie Kennedy biopic was a huge influence on the whole production.

She said: "John was such an incredible human being, very, very kind, very easy to work with.

"We were shooting in really cold weather, doing difficult, very long takes, where he had a lot of dialogue. He was doing an Irish accent. He was just so good-natured and funny.

"The things he would come up with on his own between takes, Pablo [Larrain a, director] would say, 'That's better than what we have, just say that.'

"We didn't rehearse, so really all that energy from him was apparent when we were filming."

Despite his years of experience, Natalie was impressed with the way John was still keen to learn and open to trying new ways of working.

She told the Hollywood Reporter magazine: "Pablo gave direction sometimes that was almost counter-intuitive. He would ask John to be bored and act like he didn't want to be there.

"John said, 'No one's ever asked me to do this thing before that goes against everything I assume about this character. But this is interesting.' And then when we did it, he'd say, 'Oh, I understand where this is going, why he's asking for these things..'

"It was nice to see someone who was such a legend and who had so much experience, who had every right to have an attitude about that sort of thing, but he was just interested in learning and trying something new and experimenting. It showed a lot of openness."

The brunette beauty - who also starred with John in 'V for Vendetta' - hopes people will now look back on her friend's old movies as she thinks that is the most fitting tribute for him.

She said: "It was really devastating to lose him as both an actor and a human being. When you look at all the films he's made, it's crazy, but hopefully at the moment, people will be revisiting '1984' and 'V for Vendetta', among his incredible body of work."

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