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Natalie Portman Recalls Hilarious Encounter With King Charles at ‘Star Wars’ Premiere

Natalie Portman Recalls Hilarious Encounter With King Charles at ‘Star Wars’ Premiere

When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace premiered in 1999, Natalie Portman already had five years of film under her belt. Her debut came in 1994, when she appeared as the fierce Mathilda in Léon: The Professional.

Despite this early start, however, she wasn’t quite ready for the big screen when Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope premiered in ’77… since she wouldn’t be born for another 4 years. This fact makes Natalie Portman’s encounter with King Charles (then still Prince Charles) at the Star Wars: Phantom Menace premiere even more hilarious.

“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,” Portman told Andy Cohen on a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live.

Natalie Portman very much looked her age at the Star Wars premiere, and certainly not old enough to have acted in the original trilogy, outside of perhaps portraying a baby. But maybe time had simply slipped away from King Charles and he didn’t realize 20 years had passed between trilogies.

Natalie Portman Says She’s ‘Open’ to Returning to ‘Star Wars’

Between 1977 and today, many nostalgic Star Wars actors have returned to the franchise, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and even Hayden Christensen, whose character, Anakin Skywalker, succumbs to the dark side to become Darth Vader before ultimately facing his death.

Natalie Portman’s character, Padmé Amidala, also dies, though much sooner…or much later, depending on how you look at it. Padmé’s death comes in the prequel trilogy, while giving birth to the twins she and Anakin Skywalker share: Luke and Leia.

Thanks to the twisting, turning timeline and occasional defiance of the laws of nature, death doesn’t necessarily mean a character can never return to the Star Wars franchise. And for Natalie Portman, the call would be a welcome one.

Though “no one has asked” the Star Wars actor thus far, Natalie Portman stated she was “open” to returning to her early career role. “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,” Portman recalled fondly, adding the role provided “a whole new set of skills to pick up and a whole new world to enter.”