Natalie Portman says Star Wars prequels backlash was "hard," but she feels "blessed" to have been part of the films

Natalie Portman in The Phantom Menace
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Natalie Portman played Padmé Amidala in all three of the Star Wars prequels – and, though the backlash was tough, she still looks back very fondly on her experience. 

"I see it as an extraordinarily lucky thing to have been part of," she tells Total Film in our new issue out on Thursday, June 20, which features Deadpool and Wolverine on the cover. "I know how meaningful it is for people. And, every day, still, people are like, 'I just watched it with my kids.' To be part of something like that that's part of that cultural mythology, and part of people's childhoods, in such a vibrant way, is so, so lucky. 

"And, yeah, I think obviously with the reaction to them when they came out, being as harsh at it was – it was hard," she continues. "And obviously, over time they've gained more appreciation, which has been nice, to always feel the balm of time. But, yeah, I feel very blessed to have been part of that, at that moment in my life." 

The Phantom Menace was recently re-released in cinemas to mark its 25th anniversary, too, and of its impressive box office takings, Portman reflects: "Yeah. I think when things figure so prominently in one's childhood, it holds a special place there forever. You can only be so lucky to get to be part of something like that, you know? It's not something you can really plan for."

Portman's next project, Apple TV Plus series Lady in the Lake, is released on July 19. And you can read more about it and a whole lot else besides in the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves and digital newsstands on Thursday, June 20.

Check out the covers below:

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman on the cover of Total Film's Deadpool & Wolverine issue

(Image credit: Total Film/Marvel Studios/Disney)

Pre-order the issue here to bag your copy, or click here to subscribe to Total Film and never miss another exclusive. You’ll get every issue before it's in stores, and you’ll get subscriber-exclusive covers. 

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(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Amazon)

Keep up to date on the galaxy far, far away with our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.