VOD Spotlight: “Your Highness”

Following her Oscar-winning performance in Black Swan, Natalie Portman was ready to take on something entirely different and signed on for a role in David Gordon Green’s medieval comedy Your Highness. It’s a film also noteworthy for reuniting James Franco and Danny McBride (both of whom appeared in Green’s film Pineapple Express) and putting all of them in a film that combines the slapstick of Monty Python with the high adventure of Dragonslayer and Krull.

Portman plays Isabel, a warrior on a mission to bring down an evil wizard. Her aims coincide with those of Franco’s heroic character Fabious, who needs to rescue his princess from the hands of the wizard, and his far-from-knightly brother Thadeous (McBride), who will need all the help he can get just to survive.

Green explains what Portman brought to the role of Isabel. “She almost became the comic relief, because she’s such a straight person in the movie and says such whacked-out things that you can’t imagine hearing Natalie say,” he says. “We’ve taken this image of prestige and adorable and fashion-magazine-friendly version of her and shown the rough-and tumble side of Natalie that’s willing to slit a few throats.”

For Portman it was a challenge she readily accepted. “When I read the script I thought, ‘Okay, this sounds like an adventure,’ and it was hilarious and also insane,” she says. “I was excited that they had thought of me for it because it wasn’t like anything I’d done before: a really big comedy and a character that was just a badass … so a great combination.”

“Your Highness” is now showing on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.

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© 2011 Universal Studios