Sunday 25 June 2017

Natalie Portman: Women have 'duty to support' female leaders

Black Swan star Natalie Portman said women needed to take the initiative to aim for top leadership roles
Black Swan star Natalie Portman said women needed to take the initiative to aim for top leadership roles

Actress Natalie Portman has shared her concern that female leaders are still severely lacking across all industries.

The Black Swan star said that women needed to take the initiative to aim for top roles, but that others have a duty to support them along the way.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: "It's in every sphere of leadership.

"We are really, really lacking female roles still.

"It's very important for women to take the initiative to be leaders, and for us to make sure they are not prevented from getting there."

Her comments came days ahead of the release of Jackie, a biopic in which Portman takes on the role of former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Commenting on her research into the life of the former columnist, who married John F. Kennedy in 1953, Portman said: " I didn't know anything beyond the popular conception of this two-dimensional icon.

"She had this breathy voice, which she used when she was cultivating this classic image of femininity and corniness.

"She had this exquisite understanding of public image. The importance they both had to the American people shows how strong the story she told was."

Once a political photographer and writer , the former first lady became known for restoring the White House by painstakingly tracking down historical artefacts.

She was revered as a role model across the States, both for her sense of style as well as for her work in promoting the arts and improving international political relationships.

But Portman revealed that she had "no idea" what effect Donald Trump's upcoming presidency, more than 50 years on, would have on equality in the US.

Admitting that she did not vote for the business tycoon during last year's elections, she said she hoped his new role would allow for a "positive way forward."

"I really pray for the best for our country and I'm energised to do whatever I can for my own country and community," she added.

Press Association

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