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Arts and Culture News

'V for Vendetta': A Provocative Turn for Portman

The thriller V for Vendetta is set in a future Britain -- a country in the grips of a fascist, homophobic, Islamophobic regime.

To say that Natalie Portman is the face of the film is an understatement.

Hugo Weaving plays the central character -- the rebel called V -- who blows up the Old Bailey and the Houses of Parliament. But Weaving does his acting from behind a Guy Fawkes mask. And even the tormentor who famously shaves Portman's head when her character, Evey, is imprisoned, stands behind in the shadows.

It is a dark film, based on a graphic novel of the same name and produced by Joel Silver and The Matrix's Wachowski brothers.

Portman tells Robert Siegel the project interested her because of its subversive and provocative ideas questioning such modern-day labels as "terrorist."

Portman, now 25, has been in the public eye since she starred in The Professional at age 11. Other recent projects include Closer, Garden State and the Star Wars films.

She talks about the issues raised by V for Vendetta, life as a celebrity, upcoming projects and a recent turn as a rapper on Saturday Night Live.

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