The movie is loosely based on the infamous love triangle involving NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who infamously drove 900 miles to confront a romantic rival. It has long been claimed that Nowak was wearing an adult diaper for her frenzied ride, but her lawyers denied it and the diaper was ultimately left out of the film. However, according to Portman, people are really mad about that.
“The original story was that this woman drove across country to kind of confront or kidnap — depending on the version — her boyfriend and his new girlfriend,” Portman said on Friday’s Ellen DeGeneres Show. “And she wore a diaper so that she didn’t have to stop on the way.”
She continued, “We didn’t do that in the movie and everyone’s like: ‘Where’s the diaper?!’ Everyone’s really upset to not see me in a diaper.”
Portman, clearly weirded out by the whole thing, added, “I don’t know what that’s about.”
DeGeneres suggested that she just lie and say that she had it on, because it’s a hard thing to dispute. Portman agreed, saying, “That’s a good line,” before quipping, “I’m wearing one right now.”
There have been no shortage of stories about the lack of diaper ahead of the film’s Oct. 4 release. For instance, “I’m Boycotting Natalie Portman’s Diaperless Astronaut Diaper Movie” from Slate, and Vanity Fair’s “Natalie Portman’s Movie About the Diaper-Wearing Astronaut Has No Diapers.”
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter at Wednesday’s premiere, the film’s director Noah Hawley said, “I found it interesting that response, people who said, 'There's no diaper and I'm not OK with that.’ I thought it said more about them really; what is it that makes you want that detail, that makes you want to reduce her to a punch line again? The goal of the film is to re-humanize her and to build empathy for her, to show you that she had an emotional and existential crisis and that's part of becoming an adult."
Hawley went on to say that he felt Nowak has already paid her price, losing her job after NASA fired her from the program.
"At the end of the day, her punishment was she lost the thing she cared about the most,” he said. “We don't need to also punish her by humiliating her."
Jon Hamm, who plays an astronaut opposite Portman, as well as an extramarital lover, agreed.
"We're not interested in humorizing this very real and human experience. We're more interested in making it about the philosophical questions behind it and the emotional questions behind it,” he told THR.
During Portman’s interview with DeGeneres, she also talked briefly about playing Lady Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. Because it was just announced and there were no firsts looks of her in costume, DeGeneres made one of her own showing Portman with a Chris Hemsworth-as-Thor makeover.
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