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March 19, 2006

Natalie Portman: Norma Rae

I've liked Natalie Portman in a number of movies -- especially Garden State -- but it's great that she brings good politics to her workplaces and not just to easy celebrity causes:

Producer Joel Silver wanted tough and tender. Who knew he was getting Norma Rae, too?

"I've stood up to producers before, and even a director," Portman says. "I saw them being abusive. A lot of people on the set are scared to say stuff when they're not being treated right."

And while it's chic to like low-budget indie films, Portman notes the "indie cred" of the actors and directors often comes at the expense of the regular staff:
"It's always smart to keep the budget at its minimum to make a good movie, but they spent so that it looks great and everyone is compensated appropriately," she says. "A lot of times everyone applauds for these cheap movies that basically mean everyone involved isn't getting what they're supposed to. Your wardrobe people and hair and makeup people and set designers, they're not getting compensated properly."
It's easy for Hollywood to bash politics far from where they work; it takes courage to challenge Hollywood itself to live up to its obligations for its own employees, especially the ones who never get their names on movie posters.

Posted by Nathan at March 19, 2006 08:34 AM