In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Padmé is introduced right away as Anakin Skywalker’s love interest, even though she is a lot older than he is. When Natalie Portman played Padmé in Star Wars, how old was she?
When the first movie in the Star Wars prequel trilogy was shot, Natalie Portman was only sixteen years old. The first movie was shot in 1997, the second when she was nineteen in 2000, and the third when she was twenty-one in 2003.
Even though the movies didn’t live up to the hype when they first came out, they have gained fans over time. Read on to learn more about Natalie Portman’s part in Star Wars and how the movies were received at the time.
Natalie Portman as Padmé
Natalie Portman was an actress long before she was in the Star Wars movies, but they were the first big-budget movies she was in. Up until this point, she had only played supporting roles, like the suicidal daughter of Al Pacino in Heat.
Even though she had never heard of the saga before she was cast, Portman watched all of the movies from the 1970s so she could learn about the world she would be living in.
Portman was supposed to play Queen Padmé Amidala, who was going out with young Anakin Skywalker. Portman had to learn how to talk with a British accent because Padmé did.
She learned the accents of Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, and Katharine Hepburn so that she could do it. Learning how to do these accents helped her not only with her role as Padmé, but also with getting other roles in the future.
At 16, she was already a pretty good actress, but she had trouble during the making of The Phantom Menace. This was because she wasn’t used to filming for special effects, and the whole thing threw her off.
She was still in high school, which added to the stress of the situation. Portman missed the premiere of Episode I: The Phantom Menace because she had to study for her last exams in high school.
A lot of critics didn’t like the movie, so it may have been for the best that she didn’t go to the premiere.
Critical & Fan Reception of Star Wars: Episodes I, II, & III
As was already said, these movies didn’t do very well in general. Fans’ excitement about the new prequels could have had a lot to do with this.
It had been 16 years since the first movies came out, and they were a huge hit. They got a lot of fans, critics loved how creative the movies were, and they made a lot of money.
After the Star Wars movies did well, a lot of fans say that George Lucas sold out. There were action figures and lightsaber toys, and they even made that terrible Christmas movie, which Lucas has said he hates.
You should watch The Star Wars Holiday Special if you haven’t already. All of the original actors are in it, and most of them had to do it because it was in their contracts.
A lot of people think that Jar Jar Binks was the worst thing that came out of the Star Wars series, but they have obviously never seen The Star Wars Holiday Special. If you’re still not sure, you can watch a compilation of some of the movie’s scenes in the video below.
People’s reactions to the first three episodes don’t make it clear that they aren’t even close to as bad as the holiday special. The use of special effects did not impress many people.
Boxoffice Magazine’s Annlee Ellingson said it best: “Eye candy isn’t a reward in and of itself; it has to be backed up by substance.”
In a 2019 interview with Empire, Natalie Portman said that it was sad to get so much criticism when the movies came out. She said, “It seemed like people were so excited about the new ones, and then they were sad. Also, I was at an age when I didn’t really know what was going on. That’s kind of the way things are.”
Natalie Portman has a lot of fans now because she played Padmé. It may not have been the best way to start out in big-budget movies, but it did give her a lot of fans. Now, even younger people like the Star Wars prequel movies a lot more than they used to.