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Natalie Portman Says King Charles Asked Her at ‘Phantom Menace’ Premiere if She Was in the Original ‘Star Wars’ Films: ‘No, I’m 18!’

Natalie Portman appeared on “Watch What Happens Live” to promote her buzzy Netflix drama “May December” and once again told “Star Wars” fans that she is more than open to reprising her role of Padmé Amidala on screen. Portman was just a teenager when she landed a leading role in George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. Her first entry, “The Phantom Menace,” opened in 1999 when Portman was 18 years old.

Asked by host Andy Cohen what it was like meeting the British royal family at “The Phantom Menace” premiere (see photo below), Portman recalled: “I remember Prince Charles, he was then Prince Charles, asked me if I was in the originals. I was like, ‘No, I’m 18!’ But he was very friendly.”

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Portman said “no one has asked” her about returning to the “Star Wars” franchise, but “I’m open to it.” She said working on the prequel trilogy was “amazing,” adding, “It was the first time I worked digitally. I don’t think anyone was shooting that way then. It was my first time working with a green screen. It was a whole new set of skills to pick up and a whole new world to enter.”

Padmé died in labor after giving birth to Luke and Leia in “Revenge of the Sith,” so having Portman re-enter the franchise might be difficult. And yet, the “Star Wars” franchise has a history of bringing back long-presumed dead characters (see “Phantom Menace” villain Darth Maul popping back up in “Solo”).

Taika Waititi is currently developing a new “Star Wars” movie, and he told a widely shared story in summer 2022 about asking Portman if she wanted to star in it without realizing she was already Padmé in the “Star Wars” universe. Waititi directed Portman in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

“He says he did [forget] because he like asked me if I wanted to be in a ‘Star Wars’ movie and I was like, ‘I was,’” Portman told GQ magazine earlier this year. “I thought he was joking. He’s such a joker that I thought it was a joke. And then afterward he said in some interview that he was like cringing afterward.”

Watch Portman’s appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” here. “May December” is now streaming on Netflix.

The Prince of Wales meets with the young star of "Star Wars : Episode 1 The Phantom Menace" Natalie Portman when he arrived for the Royal Film Performance at the Odeon Leicester Square.   (Photo by John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Prince of Wales meets with the young star of “Star Wars : Episode 1 The Phantom Menace” Natalie Portman when he arrived for the Royal Film Performance at the Odeon Leicester Square. (Photo by John Stillwell – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

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