Natalie Portman plays badass cowgirl in ‘Jane Got a Gun’

Natalie Portman is the heroine in her new movie “Jane Got a Gun,” the feminist western directed by Gavin O’Connor. “Jane Got a Gun” centers on Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman), who has built a new life with her husband Bill “Ham” Hammond (Noah Emmerich) after being tormented by the ultra-violent Bishop Boys outlaw gang.

She finds herself in the gang’s cross-hairs once again when Ham stumbles home riddled with bullets after dueling with the Boys and their relentless mastermind Colin (Ewan McGregor). With the vengeful crew hot on Ham’s trail, Jane has nowhere to turn but to her former fiancé Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) for help in defending her family against certain destruction. Haunted by old memories, Jane’s past meets the present in a heart-stopping battle for survival.

Based in France, wife of the choreographer Benjamin Millepied, director of dance at the Paris Opera, the American star of 34 years, actress, director, welcomes the decision of the Academy Awards to give more space to blacks and women.

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The Academy Awards has announced its reform in full debate on diversity, in particular the lack of black actors. What do you think?

This lack of diversity is a problem: it is urgent that the movie industry is in grasp. There are not enough movies that deal with women’s issues and give voice to minorities. The establishment does not recognize their place or their work. I am delighted that this issue comes to the table and the Academy Awards begins to move the lines.

Have you been a victim of sexism in Hollywood?

My experience is not worse than the other. I am a white actress, I therefore occupies a more privileged position than others, I do not have to complain about, but yes, I’ve already been a victim of sexism. The American film industry is very unfair to women and minorities, to be behind the camera, and also in terms of wages.

“Jane Got a Gun” is a solid swing woman portrait. He is a character that you defend tooth and nail?

I like his strong character, but I also like the fact that she lives a love story in the American Wild West. Madness and love are well housed here in this Wild West where anything can happen. Jane’s army, but it is not as violent as that, she fights to survive, it must draw from itself the personal resources to fight. I have read many stories about the Wild West to prepare my character, I found very difficult lives unstable.

You feel a feminist?

Oh yes, definitely.

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What have you in common with Jane swinging the film?

I have in common with my character to have had to fight a lot to be able to produce this independent film. It’s not a bad thing to have to fight, but in fact the United States, as full of aspects, things always turn out differently for women than for men. It’s harder for them.

What is your favorite western women?

There are many, all excellent. Among the most recent, “The Homesman” Tommy Lee Jones with Hillary Swank, or “The Eight Bastards” Quentin Tarantino starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. I have yet to see but everyone says she is amazing. And then there’s “Jane Got a Gun” now.

“Jane Got a Gun” is a good story. Yet the film has been slow to happen. What happened?

There was a change of director in full production. The film was to be directed by Lynne Ramsay Scottish, but she left just before the first day of shooting. I think that was a first in the history of cinema, this departure on the eve of views taken. We had the chance to work again with Gavin O’Connor, who had his own vision of history and allowed us to continue more calmly. After the first difficult time, everyone has deployed all his energy and passion for the film.

“Jane Got A Gun” opens February 10, 2016 in cinemas nationwide as released and distributed by Captive Cinema.

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Dakota Johnson, curious and looking for love in ‘How To Be Single’

She has become one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars after landing the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the box office record-smashing “Fifty Shades of Grey” for which she received a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.

Now,, the film follows a host of singles at various stages of—and with varying opinions on—the single state.

Returning to her comedy roots, Johnson deftly handles her character, Alice’s fumbling attempts to meet men upon finding herself newly single, especially when paired with Rebel Wilson’s extreme party girl, Robin, the perfect tour guide through the world of free drinks, hook-ups and text message protocol.

Just out of college, Alice is worried she’s missing out—on what, she’s not quite sure, but taking a “break” from longtime boyfriend Josh in order to make sure he’s the one is the right thing to do… isn’t it?

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“How to Be Single” takes us along with Alice as she ventures into a new job, a new city—New York—a newly unattached life, and all that goes along with it. Johnson says, “I loved how believable the story was—we’ve all been that person who is stumbling through, trying to figure things out.”

Screenwriter Dana Fox, who worked with Johnson previously, was happy to see the actress go back to a comedic role after several more dramatic parts. “Dakota is just naturally talented, especially when it comes to comedy, both physical and verbal,” she states. “As a writer, it’s such a pleasure for me to work with her again, because nothing comes out feeling ‘written.’”

When we first meet her character, Johnson observes, “She is sort of this doe-eyed, curious young woman starting college. She meets a boy right away and is quickly in a comfortable and nurturing relationship.”

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Fast forward four years. “Like so many of us, Alice has always depended on someone, whether it’s her parents, her sister or her boyfriend. Suddenly, she has this profound moment of realization and forces herself into what she thinks is an awakening, but which is really just a break up,” the actress acknowledges. “But taking a break turns into a total explosion of life as she knows it, and now she has to figure out how to handle it.”

After persuading her very serious boyfriend she needs to experiment with being on her own, Alice heads to Manhattan to start a new job as a paralegal. “Right away, she falls into the hands of Robin, who’s kind of insane,” Johnson laughs. “Alice has been sheltered and established a lot of boundaries for herself; Robin has zero boundaries and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of her, so long as she’s having fun.”

The role of Alice required a convincing amount of girl-next-door naiveté in order for moviegoers to slip into her shoes, or at least remember a time when they did. Director Christian Ditter found Johnson to be “absolutely gorgeous but at the same time completely relatable. She’s talented and gives a very authentic performance, which makes it easy for the audience to see themselves in her place. She grounds the story for all the other characters, who are much more outrageous.”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, February 11, 2016, “How to Be Single” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.