PT Any other Padmè fan feel Portman was miscast or recast after all this time?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Lady_Skywalker87, Feb 16, 2014.

Moderators: Bazinga'd
  1. Lady_Skywalker87 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 3
    I don't intend for thread to become a Natalie bash...so please don't get the thread locked.
    We can't deny that Leia is iconic. Not only because in paper she defied every stereotypical representation of women in the media, but because Fisher gave us a solid conviction of what the character was. I feel that part of reason there are deferring opinions on Padmè is in large part due to Nat's very technical acting style... meaning she doesn't act from the heart and always fails to fully connect with the women she plays. This became very apparent to me when
    The Other Boleyn Girl came out. She views acting very business like and such. I understand why George picked her...her early work was pretty promising, but I don't believe that she had her heart in the project as an actress who loves the craft do, and thus she fails to completely convey the thorough complexity of Padmè. I'm my the only one who that sees it?
    Yanksfan and GGrievous like this.
  2. May_The_Force_Be_With_You Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2014
    star 1
    I'm not really sure. Despite all my criticisms of the PT - Portman was never really one of them. She clearly can act her butt off if you watch other movies. Some of her lines were delivered...oddly. But I blame Lucas' direction (or lack therof) on that or having to act acting cartoon CGI character.

    But I don't know. In my opinion, I think she did pretty well with what she was given. I actually kind of like the character of Padme and I find it believable that she is meant to be Leia's mom. There were a lot of good like mother, like daughter moments.
  3. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    Miscast? No. Can't think of anyone else that I'd rather have in NP's spot.
    Ananta Chetan and TX-20 like this.
  4. GGrievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2005
    star 5
    I mostly blame Lucas' writing and direction.

    As for the question, not sure who would be a good Natalie replacement.
    Last edited by GGrievous, Feb 17, 2014
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Kiera Knightley maybe.

    But I didn't have a problem with Portman.
    GGrievous likes this.
  6. GGrievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2005
    star 5
    Kiera actually did play the Queen for a moment. :p
    mes520 and Lady_Skywalker87 like this.
  7. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5
    I totally agree with the OP. Natalie Portman's monotone delivery and complete lack of expression throughout the PT is a huge grievance of mine. I get that she's a pretty face, but she failed to give Padme any personality at all.

    @Lady_Skywalker87 --totally off-topic, but words cannot express how much I love your avatar. Seriously. :)
    Sarge likes this.
  8. Merkual Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 4
    I totally agree with the OP. Natalie Portman's monotone delivery and complete lack of expression throughout the PT is a huge grievance of mine. I get that she's a pretty face, but she failed to give Padme any personality at all.
    ------------

    you took the words right out of my mouth
    oh it must have been while you were quotin' me

    :p
  9. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    The only time I can recall Portman using a monotone delivery was when she was portraying the Queen in TPM . . . and only when "she" was Queen and not a decoy.

    Also, I had no problems with her as Padme. I had no problems with any of the cast members.
    Last edited by DRush76, Feb 17, 2014
  10. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    She's monotone in The Phantom Menace. I think she did a better job in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith though. If you've seen Black Swan, The Professional, V for Vendetta and Closer, you can't be serious if you say or think she can't act. She is a very good actress. Blame it on Lucas' directing skills or lack thereof. That's what's so frustrating about the prequels: Lucas had such an amazing cast of accomplished actors and they all seem to be bored or not really sure what they're supposed to be feeling or trying to convey when saying their lines. Of course, Star Wars has never been about astonishing performances, but that does not mean fans should settle for mediocre performances or dialogues. And the but the original trilogy did not have good acting either is an overused cop-out. Granted, nobody in the OT was ever going to get an Oscar, but there aren't that many cringeworthy moments in the OT, imho. But it's all a matter of taste, I guess.

    Do you want to know who was superb in all the prequels? Ian McDiarmid. I don't know how or why, but he is simply terrific, even if he hammed it up a little bit in Revenge of the Sith after becoming the Emperor, but that doesn't bother me at all.

    I wonder what Portman thinks about her role in Star Wars almost 10 years after Episode III was first released. And I mean what she really thinks, not what she says when the camera is on and she's being interviewed. I am not trying to say she's lying if she says she liked playing Amidala, but I'd really like to know what she thinks about the script and the director.

    I've heard she's a perfectionist. And think about it: she's worked with Luc Besson (The Fifth Element and Taken), James McTeigue (who was directly involved in Matrix), Darren Aronosfky (The Wrestler), Mike Nichols (The Graduate), all very good directors and screenwriters, who are obviously able to get great performances from the actors they work with. I find it hard to believe the same actress who played Mathilda in The Professional gave us the PT Amidala/Padme . Something must've happened. [face_hypnotized]
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 18, 2014
    _Catherine_ likes this.
  11. Samnz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    You're not a Padmé fan then, are you? I think the OP was especially adressing people who liked Padmé as a character ("any other Padmé fan") but felt Portman could not do justice to the character ("miscast").

    My answer to the thread's question: I don't really know.
    I like Padmé a lot. She's among my Top-3 favourite characters. But Portman is the only actress in the Saga I'm not sure how to feel about her performance.
    I think Portman had some difficulties with the character in TPM. For one, you have to consider that she had not seen any of the OT films before filming TPM, so that whole galaxy was unknown and new for her. She was also quite young and had not worked on a film with that scale (I remember that interview on the DVD where she seemed almost awed by all "the artist coming together" to work on this film). Aside from that, maybe this is only me, but I've always felt she couldn't really distinguish Padmé from the Queen in that film. So the very formal style of the Queen (which I liked, including the fake accent) rubbed off on her performance as Padmé, which was not perfect. That changed completely with the next film, then. In AOTC, she was almost too lax for my taste. They (Portman, Lucas, Biggar etc.) talked a lot about "showing another side about Padmé" on bonus material (DVD, newspapers) and think she almost took this too far in her acting. Then in ROTS, I think she finally found a good balance between a certain earnestness and ease.
    So yeah, I think Portman struggled a bit with the character. I still like her, though. I can't think of another actress playing Padmé right now.

    James McTeigue was Lucas' assistant director on AOTC.
    I've always wondered if she was cast in V for Vendetta because he knew her from AOTC or if it was going to happen anyway....
    Last edited by Samnz, Feb 18, 2014
  12. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
  13. Darth Dominikkus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2013
    star 3
    For me, without Portman in the PT, it would have been very, very hard for me to watch.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  14. GGrievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2005
    star 5
    @Samnz You read me wrong. To clarify, I am not criticizing Padme as a character. The way I see it, Natalie's faults (not the character) fall into Lucas' lap since he directed her and wrote her lines.
    Last edited by GGrievous, Feb 18, 2014
  15. squir1y Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2003
    star 2
    Nah. She has a smile that could melt the worst dialogue...

    [IMG]
  16. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    She could have played a mute and I probably would not have noticed.
  17. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I thought she was miscast. I've seen her act well and also act poorly in other films. However, I think her temperament just didn't fit being a leader: Queen and Senator. She has such a girlish, weak voice, totally unlike that of Fischer's Leia. I also thought her delivery was bad in a lot of scenes in TPM, especially when she interacts with Boss Nass: "I ask you. No, I beg of you..." I think she's much better when interacting with kid Anakin.

    In addition to the terrible dialogue, I thought Hayden and Portman were bad in the romance scenes in ATOC. They had no chemistry, and she's really bad when she was says: "I truly, deeply love you" just before she is taken into the arena.

    I thought she was much better in ROTS, and I actually think she saved a few bad lines. I thought she and Hayden had much better chemistry too, and I really believed that Padme was suffering when she was scared for Anakin and afraid and saddened when she realized he had turned to the dark side.

    In the end, I think GL could have found someone better who could act strong at times and vulnerable at others. I think Portman's fine with the vulnerable, but she was not believable as a strong leader.
  18. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    To be honest, I've seen all those movies (except for The Professional) along with Where the Heart Is, Cold Mountain, The Other Boleyn Girl, Brothers, and Thor. I still say that Padmé is her best-realized role in my opinion. I honestly don't think Portman is nearly as good of an actress as she's made out to be. She's not terrible, by any stretch, but she's certainly not Oscar-calibur material. I'd say she's about on Hayden Christensen's level whereas actors like Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Ian McDiarmid are on another level entirely.

    In general, I thought Padmé was a very well realized character in that Portman managed to make her seem mature beyond her years but also quite naive and, at times, self-righteous. She could be vulnerable but strong and I think it was a very delicate balance that she achieved. Of all the characters she played, as well, Padmé was the most interesting.

    To me, Black Swan was a huge disappointment, especially because I am a fan of Aronofsky's earlier work. But Portman's Nina was such a shallow character and easily predictable. I respect all the physical conditioning Portman did for the role, but at the end, I never really believed in the performance. I always saw Portman trying to act like a sexually-repressed perfectionist going insane, but it never felt natural. The entire role seemed hugely forced to me.

    In my opinion, it's not so much that she's a good actress as the fact that she can play off audience's expectations of her. TV Tropes summarizes it really well on the "I Am Not Leonard Nimoy" page:

    • Natalie Portman. Reviews of Black Swan often noted that whether the fascination came in watching "Nina" or "Natalie" succumb to the pressure for perfection was unclear, as Portman was largely playing an exaggerated version of herself. Similarly, her performance in Closer was entirely dependent on the fact that audiences were willing to believe that "Natalie Portman is Amazingly Desirable and Needs Your Love." Whether or not Portman herself can act is a contested issue, as her primary purpose in films seems to be playing the audience's fantasy of herself. (Ironically, Portman herself went to Harvard and seems quite level-headed, so she may be sliding toward Adam Westing.) Portman's attempts at branching out by taking dramatic or less sympathetic roles have not been well-received.
  19. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    I disagree. Padmé was another terribly underdeveloped and boring character from the prequels. You cannot fault Natalie Portman for that. She may think she's not Oscar-calibur material, but to say that she's on Hayden Christensen's level is absurd. I suggest you watch The Professional and then try to find a movie starring Hayden Christensen where he does such a great job. But hey, there's no accounting for taste. She was great on Closer and on Black Swan. You may not have liked Black Swan, but she did a great job there. I mean, she even won an Oscar for it and was nominated for Closer. [face_dunno]Do you honestly believe Hayden Christensen is on the same level? I mean, wow… Hayden Christensen is a just ok actor, at best. @PiettsHat
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 20, 2014
  20. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    Actually, I'd probably say that Christensen gave a better performance in Shattered Glass than anything Portman's ever done. But, yes, in general, I believe that they are on the same level as actors. As for Oscars, I don't really think she deserved it nor do I think it means she is a great actress. Ewan McGregor and Ralph Fiennes -- both actors that I really like -- have never won actors and I'd say they are both leagues ahead of Portman.

    I think Padmé is actually Portman's best-developed character and I enjoy her in the PT films. I don't like her nearly as much in other films and I find that's because she never really convinces me. I've seen her performances in both Black Swan and Closer and neither impressed me -- they were both disappointing.
  21. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    Some actors I like have never won an Oscar either ;). I don't know, maybe you're just not into her acting and you're biased towards Padmé, because you're a Star Wars fan, which is fine, I guess.
  22. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    I don't see how that's true. I love Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, and Hayden Christensen in other films. I love Mark Hamill's voice acting. I definitely wanted to like her performance in Black Swan given that the director had produced a good few movies that I really like, but she just really falls flat for me in most roles, hence why I think Padmé is her best performance. Star Wars also wasn't the first film I saw her in either.
  23. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    I just don't think Lucas was able to get great performances from any of the actors he directed in the prequels, with the exception of Ian McDiarmid. Liam Neeson was great in Schindler's List and Ewan McGregor was awesome in Trainspotting, Big Fish and The Island. But they were just ok in the prequels. I mean, I don't think you can actually gauge an actor's skills based on what they did in the prequel trilogy.
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 20, 2014
    _Catherine_ likes this.
  24. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    I don't think the PT was the best performance of either Ewan McGregor or Liam Neeson, though (although I do think they were good and like them very much). I do think that's the case for Natalie. See, you're presuming that I'm judging her as "not great" based on her performance in the PT. The opposite is actually true -- I quite liked her in the PT and thought she did a good job. But she's never hit that high note for me ever again. I liked Liam Neeson's work in the PT, sure, but Qui-Gon doesn't hold a candle to Oskar Schindler. The same isn't true of Portman whose performance in the PT is the best performance I feel she's given, in my opinion.
  25. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan too, but I honestly do not think that Star Wars, with its cheesy dialogues and contrived rescue scenes and over-the-top plots, is a fair gauge of any actor's acting skills. Nobody is going to be remembered for what they did in Star Wars. Maybe Star Wars did launch a couple of actors' careers (Harrison Ford's, for instance), but you'd be hard-pressed, imho, to find an actor who'd tell you that yes, Star Wars was the pinnacle of their careers or a career defining moment.



    I like Ewan McGregor's Obi Wan. I really do. I think he was, along with Ian McDiarmid, the best thing about the prequels, acting-wise that is.
    And I see what you mean about Portman. If anything, I really think that doing Thor was a real step back in her career. She should be doing movies that show what she's capable of. I honestly do not understand what she was doing there.
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 20, 2014
Moderators: Bazinga'd