Natalie Portman Didn't Know What She Was Getting Into With Her Star Wars Casting

Natalie Portman needs no introduction. She is an incredible actress, and she has several accolades to affirm her talent and various academic achievements. Plus, Portman has starred in two of the biggest entertainment franchises in the world. When the actor joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jane Foster in "Thor" (2011), the MCU had already been established and loved. For her role in "Star Wars," the Israeli American actress accepted the part after a few meetings with George Lucas and the casting director at the time. She didn't actively pursue the role because she didn't know much about "Star Wars" — she hadn't even watched the movies before she accepted the part!

Natalie Portman wasn't intimidated

For the longest time, the original trilogy dominated the "Star Wars" fandom, but that was until the prequel came out. Today, the franchise has had a prequel trilogy, multiple sequels, and spinoffs that have given birth to cinema-level television, animated series that popularize other characters, and even an amusement park.

When Natalie Portman was in the process of signing on for "The Phantom Menace," she knew nothing about the franchise. The actor watched the films after accepting the role, but the overwhelming love for the franchise didn't faze her, nor did she anticipate the kind of success her film received, at least during the filming stage.

During press interviews for "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," Natalie Portman, who played the teenage Queen Amidala, shared her admiration for George Lucas. The actor also stated that her unawareness of the franchise and Lucas's storytelling power got her interested in the role.

"I definitely didn't actively pursue this role at all, but I just met with the casting director like on any other film and just talked to her, and then I met George [Lucas] and talked to him, and I got the part. I hadn't seen the films until it was offered to me, so I really wasn't aware of what 'Star Wars' was at all."

Portman further praised Lucas for his display of creativity in the prequel films — the same that fans have endlessly mocked him for.

George Lucas knew how to tell a story

Natalie Portman continued:

"I think it's a combination of that and George's storytelling power. I think he really knows how to tell a story and make characters that people love and relate to, and make it all in a very exciting package, which he did with the amazing effects that he did for the original 'Star Wars' films at the time, and now with this 'Star Wars' film. I mean, the technology is just unbelievable, so it's a great story made in a very very new and interesting way."

The actress commended the technology used in the film and how it helped create "realistic characters" that were as essential to the films as their human counterparts. Frankly, all I want to know is whether she's referring to *coughs* Jar Jar Binks.

"You can create very realistic characters now ... when you watch this film there's no point where you're like, 'Wait. He's not there.' It looks perfectly real, there are real characters in this film that are not people."

Portman reprised her role in the subsequent two films in George Lucas' much-derided trilogy, alongside Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, and Liam Neeson. Much later, the actor talked about how no director wanted to work with her after the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, despite its historic commercial success. Fans went as far as accusing George Lucas of destroying her career. But Portman eventually returned to the silver screen with prominent, career-defining roles, including "Black Swan," which earned her an Oscar for "Best Actress" in 2010.

And now? She's the Mighty Thor now.