In fact, the Oscar winner admitted at panel discussion for her feature length directorial debut, "A Tale of Love and Darkness," that Hollywood film legend Lauren Bacall flat out did not like her. Ouch!
At the panel, which took place at the 92nd Street Y in NYC on Thursday, Aug. 18, the "Black Swan" star revealed that Bacall, whom she directed in the 2008 short film "Eve," took issue with her inability to lead.
Portman said at the panel, "I must be honest: She did not like me, but I loved her and admired her so much." The actress went on, "She sensed in me what I learned later about myself … that I had a really hard time saying what I wanted and being the boss."
"Eve" is a 17 minute-long short film, also starring Olivia Thirlby and Ben Gazzara, about an elderly couple who go out on a date.
In the Q&A, the Harvard alum discussed working with Bacall, explaining, "When I was 26 on 'Eve' with [Lauren Bacall] I was not decisive, and she called me out on it and was totally right." She added, "But she was a total pro, despite the fact that she was so unimpressed by me. She was amazing in every take."
Despite the trials and tribulations of "Eve," Portman appears to have taken what she learned directing the short into her first feature-length movie, which the "Closer" actress also stars in. "A Tale of Love and Darkness" is subtitled in Hebrew and follows a Jewish family that immigrates to Palestine in the 1940s.
Portman has also said the movie was a passion project that made her more capable as a director.
At the Q&A, Portman reflected, "It took me a few weeks to be comfortable saying 'I want this,' 'I want that.'"
"A Tale of Love and Darkness" is based on the best-selling 2002 memoir by Amos Oz and is currently in select theaters.