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Last Updated: Thursday May 09 2002 16:22 GMT

Natalie Portman talks to Newsround

Queen Amidala actress Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman talks to Newsround about her role as Senator Padme Amidala in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Q: You've got one of the most important roles in the film and you're still quite young, what was it like playing such an important role that was so really action-packed?
Natalie: It's really exciting getting so much to do as a young person, especially to be a leader as a young woman. We rarely see that in the real world or in film. To get a girl who is in charge and taking care of business and not needing to be saved by anyone is pretty exciting.

Q: You started out acting really young as well. What's it been like for you?
Natalie: It's been such a wonderful experience, I really, really love acting. I think it can be a really great experience for kids to be involved in, as long as they don't get too wrapped up in the false aspects of the film industry.

Q: Everyone's probably asked you about George Lucas and what he's like as a director. What was he like with you, did he give you tips?
Natalie: It was really wonderful. George really has this vision and that's the most important thing for a film - to have a director who knows what he wants his film to be. The film is just amazing looking and has such a great story. It really captures your attention the entire time. He has a really clear idea about what he wants and that's what matters.

Q: As you are so young, what is it like signing up for a film that's going to take up the best part of 10 years of your life. Is that a big commitment to make?
Natalie: It is definitely a big commitment to make. I signed on for these films when I was 14 and I'm going to be done with them when I'm 23 I think. It's been a very, very, long ride. But it has been an incredible part of my life. I've had really interesting experiences and I've got to travel a lot and meet really cool people.

Q: So what about the role itself. Star Wars is a phenomenon, why did you choose this role?
Natalie: I was really excited to be able to be part of something that is a cultural phenomenon. It's a pretty great opportunity to be a part of something that so many people care so much about. And also to play a young queen and a young senator, that's not something you get a chance to do very often in Hollywood, you usually have to play someone's girlfriend. As a young woman to play this role was really exciting.

Q: What about the costumes? Were they better, more comfortable this time?
Natalie: The costumes were definitely more comfortable, which was really nice because I got to relax a little. That helps her fall in love, partly because she doesn't have to be this rigid queen character this time.

Q: I've got to ask you this, you're beautiful, you're young, you're bright, you go to Harvard (a top American university) and you're a successful actress, what ARE your faults?
Natalie: There's plenty, I don't want to give them all away because I want people to like me. I have issues like everyone else, my skins breaks out and I have many insecurities, and I'm impulsive often. There's things about me which aren't great. I hope my flaws don't overwhelm my assets. I try and do my best.

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