Natalie Portman says portraying Jacqueline Kennedy was one of her most challenging roles to date

By Stephanie Petit
Updated September 07, 2016 04:15 PM
Credit: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

Natalie Portman graced the red carpet at the glamorous premiere of her new film Jackie at the Venice Film Festival tonight.

All eyes at the premiere were on the actress, 35, who looked stunning in a monochrome lace gown with an eye-popping abstract pattern.

Earlier in the day, Portman appeared at a photo call where she told reporters that playing Jacqueline Kennedy was one of the most challenging roles of her career, even describing it as “dangerous” to portray such a famous figure.

“Everyone knows what she looked like, sounded like and has kind of an idea of her,” the actress said, according to Variety.

Portman added that playing the character “was terrifying, because I never really thought of myself as a great imitator … I was just trying to get to something that people could get past and believe I was Jackie, and then you always have yourself in there too, inevitably.”

Nevertheless, the highly anticipated film, which follows the First Lady in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, has opened to high praise from critics and audiences. Portman’s portrayal of the complex titular character has also earned rave reviews.

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“There are so many feelings at once that she is going through … The film comes at her from so many different aspects,” Portman described. “She’s a young widow; she’s a symbol for all these people; she’s a mother; she’s a wife – a betrayed wife; she’s a person who is trying to figure out her way in the world.”

This is the first English-language film for Chilean-born director Larrain. He told reporters that part of the inspiration came when he read the Warren Commission report describing the president’s assassination and noticed “that Jackie was sitting next to him” at the time.

“I thought: Why don’t we take her point of view?” he said.