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'V for Vendetta': A Provocative Turn for Portman

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'V for Vendetta': A Provocative Turn for Portman

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'V for Vendetta': A Provocative Turn for Portman

'V for Vendetta': A Provocative Turn for Portman

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5286560/5287006" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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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.

Evey's Evolution

Natalie Portman's character Evey undergoes radical transformation, both physically and psychologically, in V for Vendetta.

Before: Evey (Natalie Portman) with the masked vigilante known only as V (Hugo Weaving). David Appleby/Warner Bros. hide caption

toggle caption David Appleby/Warner Bros.

Before: Evey (Natalie Portman) with the masked vigilante known only as V (Hugo Weaving).

David Appleby/Warner Bros.

After: Evey's hair is shaved off when she is imprisoned by the secret police. David Appleby/Warner Bros. hide caption

toggle caption David Appleby/Warner Bros.

After: Evey's hair is shaved off when she is imprisoned by the secret police.

David Appleby/Warner Bros.

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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