The actress said she was nervous to work with the weapon while filming Jane Got a Gun
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Natalie Portman may play a gun-slinging cowgirl in her latest film, Jane Got a Gun, but in real life, she is a strong advocate for tighter gun laws in the United States.

“I definitely am very concerned about gun violence in our country,” Portman told PEOPLE at the movie s New York premiere.

When asked if she agrees with President Obama’s recent effort to increase gun ownership regulation, the actress passionately expressed her support. “Yes, absolutely,” the 34-year-old replied.

Portman admitted that while filming Jane Got a Gun – which she also produced – she was nervous about working with the weapon.

“I always want to be sure of safety, especially because I was a producer on the film, I felt responsible for everyone, not just as an actor,” Portman told PEOPLE. “But we had such an amazing crew, they really assured me that they were taking care of everyone and calmed me down.”

She also said she was initially worried that the heavy use of weapons in the film would glorify gun violence, but quickly pointed to the difference in government protection between the film’s western time period and modern day.

“But I think also, showing that this is a time when there wasn’t government and there wasn’t anyone helping, there weren’t police,” she explained. “That’s different than our current situation.”

In the film, Portman stars as a pioneer woman living in New Mexico who accepts the aide of her former lover in defending her family from an outlaw and his gang of ruffians.

Also starring Joel Edgerton and Ewan McGregor, Jane Got a Gun hits theaters Jan. 29.