Natalie Portman: ‘I’d understand if astronauts were crazy people after space missions’


Natalie Portman can’t believe astronauts are so stable when they return to earth following space missions after playing one in new movie Lucy In The Sky.

The Oscar winner, who replaced Reese Witherspoon in the new Noah Hawley drama, spent time with NASA experts and astronauts who had spent lengthy periods of time on the International Space Station, and learned all about the physical and psychological toll such trips take on the mind and body.

“They were describing that, physically, it was so hard to come back,” she tells WENN. “They were burning the rubber on their sneakers, sludging their feet because it’s hard to be on your feet after being in no gravity.

“There is a whole protocol for psychological wellbeing because it is really shocking to be there and back for everybody. There’s quite a lot of vetting that they do of potential astronauts for their social and emotional wellbeing, because even being up there is really hard, to be with this small group of people in a confined space for extended periods of time under sometimes stressful conditions.

“They have to be pretty stable to even have the opportunity to go, which makes it even more remarkable that someone could have such an extreme unraveling when they return, like my character.”

In the new movie, Portman plays spacewoman Lucy Cola, who struggles to come back down to earth, literally, when her space mission is over.