Natalie Portman Is Following in Lena Dunham's Footsteps

How 'Tiny Furniture' inspired her latest career move.

MC Natalie Portman
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Natalie Portman has added a new gig to her resume and we have Lena Dunham to thank for it...kind of, anyway.

Portman's directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, is getting all kinds of (well-deserved) buzz. The film, based on Amos Oz's memoir of the same name, focuses on a woman's relationship with her family during the early days of the State of Israel. The subject matter might seem intimidating, but Portman says it was nothing compared to the intimidation she felt as a woman taking the helm of a film as a director.

Hollywood's unfortunate reputation for sexism is well-documented at this point, and sadly persists in 2016. Portman says that Hollywood's tendency to label films directed by established actresses as "vanity projects" made her hesitant to sit in the director's chair, but Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture inspired her.

"I remember seeing Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham's film, and when the credits rolled I started crying because it was written by Lena Dunham, starring Lena Dunham, produced by Lena Dunham, and directed by Lena Dunham," Portman told Entertainment Weekly. "This young woman has no fear of [saying] 'I did it, I did all of this.' And it was so good. It inspired me to not be afraid of that [criticism]."

With talented, smart, high-profile women like Portman and Dunham embracing roles as directors and all-around creators, hopefully the sexist notions that hold women back in Hollywood will soon be a thing of the past.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.