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Natalie Portman: 'I never imagined I'd portray Jackie Kennedy'

Natalie Portman was surprised when she was offered the chance to play American style icon Jackie Kennedy, because she never thought she'd ever land a role like that.

The actress admits she had quite a lot of work to do to get into character as America's former First Lady in Pablo Larrain's new movie - and still insists she looks nothing like Kennedy.

"I don't really think I look that much like her apart from being sort of dark-haired and female," Natalie tells WENN. "I think the hair and make-up and wardrobe all does a great deal.

"It wasn't really anything I'd ever considered. I hadn't thought much about her (Kennedy) to be honest... I had this superficial notion of her, the facade we all see; the style, the elegance. I had to consider her as a person and of course the crazy life that she experienced. It was a challenge of doing something I didn't think I could do.

"This is not my talent. This is not my strength to learn a voice, learn an accent, move like a person. I've never been a mimic or an imitator. It's not my skill. It was incredible to get to try it. I had to get to the believability from the audience that I could be this person before I could get there emotionally."

Natalie prepared for the project by speed-reading 12 biographies, and the transcripts of Kennedy's 1964 interviews with historian Arthur Schlesinger.

"It's word for word what she said and there's tapes that accompany it, so I could hear her talking," she explains. "He was a friend of hers so I could hear her private voice because online is her (public) White House tour which I also listened to obsessively because we replicated that exactly for the movie shot for shot. I studied those with my dialect coach."

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