Natalie Portman is convinced her performance in the Star Wars prequel trilogy damaged her career.
The Black Swan actress portrayed Padme Amidala, the love interest of Anakin Skywalker, in the prequel films from 1999 to 2005, but she struggled to find acting jobs afterwards as no director wanted to work with her.
Late filmmaker Mike Nichols, who died in November (14), had worked with Portman on stage play The Seagull and tried to help her out by recommending her to his fellow directors, but they kept passing her off to colleagues.
Portman tells NY Magazine, "Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress... I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me.
"Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, 'Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her'. And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis."
The Wachowski directing siblings cast her in 2006 thriller V for Vendetta.
Portman was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for her role in Nichols' film Closer. She won the prize in 2011 for Black Swan.