Natalie Portman’s husband talks making directorial debut and how she aided the process

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman’s husband credits her for contributing to his directorial debut. Pic credit: ©

Natalie Portman’s husband is set on giving credit where credit is due.

The well-known dancer and choreographer is set to make his directorial debut with the film Carmen.

While he put in plenty of his own work to bring the project to life, Benjamin admits he received some well-placed advice from his wife, Natalie Portman.

The couple first met when Benjamin signed on to help Darren Aronofsky by choreographing dance numbers for the hit 2010 film Black Swan, starring Natalie in the key role of Nina Sayers.

The film went on to receive rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, and Natalie won an Oscar that year for Best Actress.

During their time on set together, the two fell in love and have been married for over a decade.

Benjamin Millepied talks about receiving advice from Natalie Portman ahead of his directorial debut

While speaking to PEOPLE, Benjamin opened up about his experience behind the camera and bringing Carmen to life.

When the outlet asked how Natalie contributed to the project and whether she offered advice, Benjamin confirmed that she was involved in the process.

“Yeah, of course. Of course,” he told them. “I think also being on set and hearing what ignites her creativity, [as] a director, was something I had heard.”

Benjamin went on to add that her input “informed” many of the decisions made along the way. He elaborated that it also helped that the married parents both share similar interests in films.

Taking on the task of re-telling a story can be difficult, but it seems Benjamin was up to the task. The 45-year-old shared that he’s excited to bring the story to a new audience after falling in love with the 1983 Spanish film directed by Carlos Saura.

“I found the whole thing really exhilarating to make; this choice of camera and creating and finding the right frame and finding the right image was thrilling,” he shared.

Benjamin Millepied hopes viewers will ‘feel’ the journey of Carmen’s characters

Though Carmen is now screening in select theaters in both New York City and Los Angeles, the film’s first screening came in September 2022 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Of all the hopes Benjamin has for the success of his film, he says that it’s important that audiences “feel the emotional journey” throughout the story.

He added while speaking to the outlet that the journey for the film’s characters is deep and that while Carmen, played by Scream actress Melissa Berrera, is driven by a “desire for freedom,” the male lead, Aidan, played by actor Paul Mescal, is grappling with the long term effects of being a marine.

Despite being from “completely different backgrounds,” they are able to “find the beauty and the sincerity of their love.”

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