Natalie Portman to Play a Bull Rider in Anna Rose Holmer’s “Bronco Belle”

Natalie Portman in “Jackie

Natalie Portman is going from redesigning the White House to becoming a rodeo superstar. The “Jackie” actress is attached to star as a bull rider in “Bronco Belle,” Deadline reports. “The Fits” helmer Anna Rose Holmer has signed on to direct the project, which is currently being shopped to buyers.

Described as a “‘Rocky’-esque female empowerment tale,” the plot follows Portman’s character “as she tries to not allow chauvinists in a male-dominated sport to buck her dreams.” Khurram Longi (“My Life as a Popat”) penned the script.

Holmer received the Someone to Watch Award at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, and also earned a nomination for Best First Feature for “The Fits,” a genre-bending story about a dance team that suffers from mysterious fainting spells. When we asked Holmer her advice for other female filmmakers, she said, “Trust your gut. Be generous. Make gratitude a daily practice.”

Portman most recently starred as First Lady Jackie Kennedy in “Jackie,” a role that scored her an Oscar nod this year. She has a number of films in the works, including a project that we’ve been keeping our eyes on for years: “On the Basis of Sex,” a biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who made history as the first Jewish female justice on the Supreme Court. Portman insisted that a woman director be hired for the gig. Mimi Leder (“Deep impact”) is attached to direct. It’s unclear which project — “Bronco Belle” or “On the Basis of Sex” — will shoot first.

Among Portman’s recent credits are “Planetarium,” “Jane Got a Gun,” and “A Tale of Love and Darkness.” The latter, an adaptation of Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel of the same name, marked her feature directorial debut. Portman won an Oscar in 2011 for her performance as an unhinged ballerina in “Black Swan.” She’s set to head to TV for “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves,” an HBO miniseries about a woman (Portman) who is raised with a chimpanzee as a sister.

Natalie Portman to Play a Bull Rider in Anna Rose Holmer’s “Bronco Belle” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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