How tall is Natalie Portman? Here's how they change her height in the movies and why.
This article is more than 2 years old
Just how tall is Natalie Portman? Every once in a while, she’ll mention that she’s very short in interviews, without ever putting a figure on it or going too much into how she gets around this. Being particularly short can cause difficulties in daily life for the average person. There’s a common example of trying to get things off of high shelves in grocery stores. Less common, but much funnier, are the examples of people trying to get things out of the bottom of top-loading washing machines. These aren’t Natalie Portman’s height struggles though. She’s got problems like being in Hollywood, where women are often small on-screen but men are often over six feet tall. This is particularly true in Marvel movies, and particularly true for a story like Thor, where he needs to look like a Norse god.
Chris Hemsworth is six feet and three inches tall. In the metric system, Chris Hemsworth is 190.5 centimeters tall. His height is impressive, but he needs to look like an impressive and huge god-figure as the actor playing Thor. In this case, Natalie Portman’s height is a help, since she is much smaller than him. However, looking at the pair together won’t give you any real hints at how tall Natalie Portman is, since the actor and actress are often paired together with props, either to make him look even taller or her look even shorter. Or, to give her some advantage so she can slap him, like she needed to do toward the beginning of Thor: The Dark World.
So, how tall is Natalie Portman? She’s five foot three. Or in the metric system, Natalie Portman is 160 centimeters tall. This is fairly short, but again, in the movie business, especially Marvel movie business, it’s something that production teams are going to talk about a lot more, especially in Thor: The Dark World where Natalie Portman needed to slap Chris Hemsworth as Thor in one scene and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in another. The obstacle here? Chris Hemsworth is six foot three in real life, and wears big clunky Norse god boots to make him look even more imposing.
This is where how tall Natalie Portman is really comes into play for Marvel. As the actress described to E! Online, if she were to go up to slap him, she’d have to jump. That would have made the scene a lot funnier, but wasn’t the kind of tone they were trying to set in a scene where Jane Foster was furious with Thor for disappearing on her for so long. If you take a look at the scene in Thor: The Dark World, she appears to walk right up to him and slap him with ease.
In real life, the logistics weren’t so easy. The production had to take a look at the height situation. How tall is Natalie Portman compared to Chris Hemsworth? And how tall does she need to be in order to slap him with ease, without making her appear so tall that the change distracts the audience? As the actress is approaching Chris Hemsworth in this shot, she is walking up a ramp. If you look at the movie poster for Thor: The Dark World up above, you’ll notice that the top of Jane Foster’s head appears to be much lower than Thor’s chin. In the slap scene, the top of her head comes up to his eye level.
The director uses different camera angles to make these height changes less noticeable to the audience so they aren’t distracted and wondering “Uh, how tall is Natalie Portman?” instead of just absorbing this moment between Thor and Jane Foster. When watching for her height, however, you’ll notice big changes. By the two-minute mark in that scene, Natalie Portman’s height compared to Chris Hemsworth’s has changed yet again.
Soon, we’ll be seeing the pair yet again in Thor: Love and Thunder, where crews have definitely been taking a more detailed look at the actress’s height. How tall is Natalie Portman? When she’s just herself, she’s five foot three. When she’s Jane Foster and meant to make Thor look larger, she probably appears smaller than that. When she needs to slap him, a little taller. When she’s Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder? She’s probably going to appear quite a bit larger since she’s going to be superpowered this time around.
We know that the actress has been working out to fit in among the Marvel elite. It would make sense if production is going to let her appear a little taller this time around. Knowing that she’s walking on ramps and standing on crates may make it a little harder not to notice these things when the movie releases in May 2022.