Natalie Portman is ready to face off against Ryan Reynolds on the field!
ET spoke to Portman at the premiere of her new docuseries, Angel City, chronicling the rise of the actress’ Los Angeles-based professional women’s soccer team, Angel City Football Club. Portman revealed that she’s toyed with the idea of Angel City F.C. playing a “friendly” match between Reynolds’ and Rob McElhenney’s women’s team, Wrexham AFC Women.
“I’ve been lucky enough to talk to him about his journey, and he’s so inspirational for what he’s done with Wrexham, and they have a women’s team also,” Portman said of Reynolds. “So, we have talked about kind of having some friendly matches at some point.”
Portman helped start the league with a slew of supporters, including co-owners Eva Longoria, Mia Hamm and Serena Williams, among others. While the journey was a long time coming, with the 41-year-old Thor: Love and Thunder actress revealing that she faced a lot of rejection before getting that big yes, she was determined not to give up — in part because of her belief in the team and the world-class athletes on its roster.
“It was incredible to get the support from all of those friends and it was, it was really moving when people came on board, because it wasn’t obvious, and we got a lot of no’s before we got yes’. And I feel like I didn’t realize what a big lift it was, and that might have stopped me from doing it if I understood how hard it was going to be,” She explained.
Portman continued, “I feel lucky that I had that kind of ignorance or optimism that, of course, this will all work out. I believed in it so much. I believed in it because these players are the best players in the world, and it’s the most popular sport in the world and I thought, ‘there’s no way that you don’t provide greater accessibility, and this isn’t the biggest hit.'”
And a hit it has been, with Angel City F.C. placing eight in its inaugural season in the Nation Women’s Soccer League in 2022 — which is chronicled in the HBO Max doc, out May 16.
What’s more, is that their model has been used to inspire other female-led teams in other cities.
“That’s been the most exciting thing. We want to share out playbook so that other people can learn from what we did well and what mistakes we made and have a foot forward when they do their own endeavors to build teams,” she gushed. “And we’re seeing it already being replicated in other cities — not replicated but taking kind of certain aspects of our model and then adapting it to their own cities. So, that’s been really exciting to see.”
The team has also served as a source of inspiration for her own family, with the actress sharing the sport with her two kids, Aleph, 12, and Amalia, 6.
“The best is seeing all the kids of all genders being rabid fans of these women. I think that that’s the dream,” Portman said. “I mean, clearly, female athletes are so important for girls to see, but it’s also important for all kids to see female athletes. As a girl growing up, I idolized male athletes. Like, we shouldn’t only be able to identify with people who look like us.”
She added, “Greatness is something that we can admire and aspire to, no matter what form it comes in.”
Angel City begins streaming May 16 on HBO Max.
Source: ET Online