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Natalie Portman remembers Mike Nichols as ‘only older male’ mentor who wasn’t ‘creepy’

92nd Academy Awards - Arrivals
Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman has remembered the late director Mike Nichols as the “only older” male mentor who wasn’t “creepy” towards her.

The Black Swan star teamed up with Nichols – who died in 2014 – for the 2001 stage adaptation of The Seagull as well as 2004 movie Closer. And paying tribute to Nichols in a new biography written by Mark Harris, Natalie said her time with the director was different from her previous Hollywood experiences.

“(He was) the only older man who mentored me without there ever being a creepy element in it,” she said in the book. “I think he was a genuine feminist. There was nothing, nothing, nothing there except him seeing you as a creative, interesting, talented human. It is the rarest, finest quality, and not many directors of his generation had it.”

In one scene in Closer, Natalie’s character has to perform a striptease in front of Clive Owen, and she praised Nichols for being “careful and protective”, particularly with that scene, and shared that he was “happy to eliminate some of the nudity” at her request.

“He wants to see my bare a*s (even) less than my father would,” Natalie shared.

“What he did for me…” she smiled. “Lord, may I have that ability to offer that kind of mentorship and guidance to one other person.”

– Cover Media