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Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis talk about awards

December 1, 2010 |  6:00 am

Nat1 It seems Natalie Portman has been everywhere lately: Just in the last few days, she's earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination, posed on the red carpet at the Gotham Film Awards and even graced the cover of our Sunday Calendar section.

Each new appearance provides a reminder that this year's award circuit is already well underway — and that the star of "Black Swan" is in the thick of it.

"It's really wild, the whole sort of world of it," the 29-year-old actress said of award campaigning. Her biggest fear while doing the talk show rounds? That she might end up accidentally repeating the same quirky-but-tired anecdote.

"I think I've seen too many of those compilations that they do on 'SNL' news where people go on different talk shows and say the same anecdote over and over," she said. "I feel like I'm that person. But it's hard to help being that person unless you're changing your story — which would be lying. It'd be like self-plagiarism." 

While she earned a supporting actress Oscar nod for her role as a stripper in 2004's "Closer," Portman said she missed out on much of the award fanfare at the time because she was studying abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

"I'm really proud of ['Black Swan'], and of course it's a wonderful honor if people acknowledge your work, but it's not the center of it," she said, sounding like the scores of other seemingly modest Oscar hopefuls from years past. "I don't think any good work could come from that, either — from wanting a pat on the back. I just want to have a meaningful experience. That way, it’s like you never go home disappointed."

Mila Meanwhile, Portman's costar in the ballet thriller, Mila Kunis, has a somewhat different attitude toward the award hoopla. The 27-year-old, whose recent film credits include the more commercial "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Book of Eli," said she was still adapting to being part of a so-called award movie.

"It's different," she said. "I'm trying to, like, absorb it, and I'm not used to it at all. It's very new to me. It's great when people appreciate a movie you've worked hard for. But I try to tune out people talking — I like to live in a bubble. A safe, comfortable bubble. No one talks in my bubble."

— Amy Kaufman

Photos: (From top) Natalie Portman; Mila Kunis. Credits: Jay L. Clendenin; Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times.


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