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“Knight of cups” premiere

Natalie Portman: “Success does not give you joy”

The actress talked about her latest movie with Terrence Malick and the things that matter most in life.

FUENTES El País AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus TRADUCTOR Belén Díaz BERLIN 11 DE FEBRERO DE 2015 09:20 h
knight of cups portman Natalie Portman and Christian Bale, in Berlin / Hannibal Hanschke, Reuters.

Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett, are the stars of the new Terrence Malick movie “Knight of cups”. The film’s premiere was at the Berlin Film Festival, Berlinale.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, Portman confessed how much she admires Malick since she saw his film “Days of Heaven”: “Ten years ago I asked for an appointment with him, we met, and we have been in contact all these years, until he called me for this movie”.

“The Knight of Cups” is introduced by the voice of John Gielgud reading from John Bunyan’s classic Protestant book “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, and it tells the story of Rick (Christian Bale), a single man who is trying to make sense of his life by having affairs with as many beautiful women as possible. He is getting over a broken marriage (to Cate Blanchett) and is still tormented by incidents in his family’s past, in particular his relationship with his father and his brother. One of those relationships is with Elisabeth (Natalie Portman), a married woman, very different from all the other romances he has had before. She is the most stable character. 

As Natalie Postman said: “The movie talks about the modern man, who is always looking for something, without knowing what, and all of us, in one way or another, can identify with that.”


Portman and Bale in a moment of the film. / The Hollywood Reporter.

The story occurs in Los Angeles, a place “where everybody goes with pure dreams, and so often they end up searching for empty things like money, fame or the others recognition”, the actress commented.

Malick´s characters look for relief in love, sex, religion, and even in tarot cards. His latest projects such as The “Tree of Life” or “To The Wonder” look at life through the prisma of the search for an identity, and spirituality is always an ingredient in the projects led by the director. 



Portman has experienced the fame many times along her career, especially in 2011, when she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Black Swan”, but she played down the importance of success.

When you reach a position that everybody defines as successful, and it seems everything will always go well, then you realize that nothing really changes, success does not give you joy, it does not complete you, and that troubles many people”.

What it really makes us happy, are “your relationships with family and friends, and with the strangers, they way you treat strangers matters.”, she explained.

Her personal life has changed so much in the last five years : she got married, had a baby, and moved to live in Paris because of her husband’s job. All this has made her realise that she “cannot control the future, so the best thing to do is to live each day at a time, follow your passions, and be willing to accept what it comes.”




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