This weekend she reprises the role of Jane Foster, scientist and love interest to the God of Thunder in the Thor: The Dark World.
Portman may not have spent time reading comics but she can understand the obsession fans have with Thor’s characters because she was once a fangirl herself.
“The one thing I ever got into like that is really dorky,” she says. “Until I was twelve or thirteen I was obsessed with the Babysitter’s Club, a series of books for girls. There was a new book every month and the day the book would come out I had to go to the bookstore and get it and read it on the way home.
“The writer’s name was Ann M. Martin and my friends and I would look in the phone book and call every Ann Martin trying to get her.
“One time she came to our bookstore and did a signing. The week before I wrote a packet about what her next book should be about, with drawings, and I waited in line for three hours and gave it to her and she was like, ‘OK weirdo.’”
Playing heroine Jane Foster is miles away from her Academy Award winning role in the dark psychological drama Black Swan. Portman admits she “never thought I’d get the chance” to act in a superhero movie, “which is why whenever they ask I say yes.”
Also appealing is the chance to work with Anthony Hopkins, who she describes as “a giant among actors.” She shares several scenes with the veteran actor and says she was “completely intimidated” by him.
“I kept messing up lines around him because I was so nervous but he was so sweet about it. He’d say, ‘That’s a really hard line to say.’”
Many of her scenes with Hopkins take place on Asgard, the celestial planetoid home to Thor and family, which raises the question, Do you believe there is life on other planets?
“That question makes me think of another movie. In Antz all the insects are around a campfire,” she says, laughing, “and they say, ‘Do you think there’s something bigger than us out there?’
“It totally feels like that. Of course there has to be something else out there. I don’t know what it is but it would be completely silly to think that we’re ‘it.’”