Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
LOS ANGELES — You see the bump first.
It’s not that tiny. Natalie Portman, a small-boned, petite woman, walks into her hotel suite with two new and newsworthy accessories.
First, there is her baby bump, which leads although it’s hidden under a beige dress with a sparkling clear crystal collar. Then there is a semi-blinding multi-carat engagement ring that engulfs her bird-like hands.
Ask her about future projects, and does she have a doozy.
“Everyone keeps asking what movie I’m doing next,” says the 29-year-old actress. “Maybe you’ve heard. I’m cooking a child.”
She is also planning a wedding to New York ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied and dealing with Oscar season for her critically acclaimed performance in the ballet drama “Black Swan.”
For the actress who has been working since age 13 in “The Professional,” what would a best actress win mean to her? “Obviously, it’s a big honor. To be in the company of great actresses [who have won Oscars] is the huge compliment. It’s extremely flattering to me,” Portman says.
She’ll be back on screen next week in the new rom-com “No Strings Attached,” with Ashton Kutcher, and then in this summer’s big budget “Thor.”
“You might have heard that the apocalypse is coming in 2012. I thought I’d get it all in this year and last,” she jokes.
This even includes a few calories. She’s not rail-thin anymore like the dancer she played in “Black Swan.”
“I know you’re thinking, ‘How did she get fat so quickly?’ That is the question. I did a comedy, which was a great palate cleanser after the discipline of ‘Black Swan.’ I play a doctor in the new comedy. She didn’t have time to work out.”
Portman produced “No Strings Attached” and plays a medical student who suffered through her parents parting way. She doesn’t have the time or emotions for a real relationship. Enter a TV writer played by Ashton Kutcher, who becomes her booty-call buddy. She makes him promise: No handholding, no snuggling, no longing looks and no dating each other between encounters.
That means plenty of sex scenes with Kutcher.
“The nice thing is we did them pretty deep into the shoot,” Portman says. “We were in a comfortable-as-you-can-be relationship. There was respect.”
Yet, did the future wife and mama blush a bit in those horizontal clinches?
“I’m pretty immature,” Portman says with a giggle. “I get pretty embarrassed easily.
“As a producer, I’d go to dailies to check out certain shots to make sure I felt okay with them. There was one shot where my panties come off where I actually saw the playback and thought, ‘OK, that’s not so bad. It’s really quick. And the camera is not lingering . . . on anything.”
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