Natalie Portman Didn’t Plan to Write or Star in ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman‘s film “A Tale of Love and Darkness” is a passion project — the actress optioned the rights to the novel by Israeli author Amos Oz, adapted the screenplay and directed the film while acting in the lead role.

But Portman revealed at the New York premiere on Monday at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo that she did not originally think she would be quite so involved.

“I didn’t plan on it initially,” she said. “I just wanted to direct it. And then slowly when I talked to people they were like, ‘You know what you want, just write it.’ Then I tried to get financing with another actress — an Israeli actress — and no one would give me money. So it sort of developed as a thing where I took on all these roles.”

Portman’s adaptation is almost entirely in Hebrew with subtitles and features a cast of Israeli actors. Before the showing in a small screening room in the hotel basement, Portman introduced the film with endearing jitters.

“I’ve been so passionate about this project for so many years, and it’s an absolute pleasure to get to share it with audience now,” she said. “I will see you after at the screening… at the after-screening,” she stumbled, giggling, “I’m nervous.”

The intimate after-party, also at the hotel, featured a buffet of flatbread pizza, sliders and fries. Molly Ringwald chatted with her husband, Panio Gianopoulos, while violinist Joshua Bell and his date Larisa Martinez took photos with Portman in the next room over.