Celebrity News May 05, 2023
How Natalie Portman’s Son Inspired Her Angel City Ownership (Exclusive)
Natalie Portman goes from movie screens to soccer fields! The Oscar-winning actress known for her critically acclaimed work in front of the camera has recently gone behind the lens for her new docuseries “Angel City.”
“Extra’s” Rachel Lindsay spoke to Natalie at the premiere of the three-part series she executive produced. The series provides a behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking Los Angeles-based National Women’s Soccer League team Angel City Football Club.
“I realized that we were doing something that was quite unique because we're building a team from scratch,” Natalie said. “We're building a team as a startup, we're building a team that's primarily female founders and female investors. And so we realized this was important to document to get people more excited and inspired, and know our story, and meet our players, but also to, like, share our playbook with everyone because we we hope that our experience — for better and worse — can be helpful to someone else who's going to do this in another city.”
The mom of two, who is one of the co-founders of Angel City Football Club, revealed how her son inspired her to start the team.
“I wanted to make the team when I saw my son watching the Women's World Cup with the same admiration and inspiration from the female players that he had from the male players. And I thought, “Oh, wow, this is really culture-shifting if kids grow up with female athletic icons alongside the male ones,” Natalie told “Extra.”
“I mean, at a certain point in your career, all you want to do is impress your kids and do things for your kids, so I'm there.”
The “Black Swan” star also spoke about the importance of highlighting the pay gap in sports and what can be done to further the cause, saying, “I also heard Abby Wambach speak and she was so eloquent, talking about what it was like to be an athletic icon but not be able to pay her mortgage, compared to male athletes who were, of course, earning deservedly enormous sums, so it was kind of the combination of those things.”
“I think that the pay gap in sports is maybe the biggest disparity in the world, and a lot of people will say, ‘Oh, that's because it's not watched the same,’ but if you're not investing in it, if you're not putting the same advertising dollars behind it, if you're not putting the same sponsorship dollars, if you're not putting the broadcast in prime time on an easily accessible channel, you know, you can't compare that,” Natalie added.
“And so these stars deserve to be valued the way their fans value them. They deserve to be compensated fairly, and that's only going to happen by getting the sport on a broader platform in a broader stage and in a more accessible way.”
Sharing her favorite moment from the producing process, Natalie said, “I think getting to know the players' stories through the documentary was really meaningful because, you know, as an owner, it's inappropriate to have any kind of close relationship with players… Through the docuseries, I got to understand a little bit more of what the personalities were like — a little more of their character, a little bit more of their stories, family histories — and that was really special in getting to appreciate them in a different way than just seeing them be bosses on the field.”
The 41-year-old also showed her appreciation for writers in Hollywood, saying she stands by the strike called by the Writers Guild of America.
“The writers’ strike I completely support,” she said. “And I hope for everyone that it'll be resolved quickly and justly.”
“Angel City” premieres May 16 on HBO and HBO Max.