Natalie Portman Reveals She and Britney Spears Were Understudies for Same Role

Natalie Portman Reveals She and Britney Spears Were Understudies for Same Role

The actress shared that she and Spears had the same first acting job back in the '90s.

Natalie Portman has revealed she and Britney Spears both kicked off their careers in Hollywood when they were cast in the same role as children.

During a recent appearance on Live with Kelly and Mark, the actress shared that she and Spears were both understudies for the same role in the Off-Broadway musical Ruthless! in the 1990s. Portman said she replaced Spears as the first understudy for actress Laura Bell Bundy — who played the lead role of Tina Denmark — in the all-female musical.

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“Britney was [Laura’s first] understudy and then when Britney left to do the Mickey Mouse Club or whatever, I was the understudy,” Portman recalled to Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos.

“So we actually didn’t meet but we, like, knew of each other. Like I knew I was taking over for her,” she added.

Ruthless! The Musical! ran off from March 1992 to January 1993 on Off-Broadway. Portman and Spears, now both 42, were only 10 years old when the show first opened, and their work as an understudy for Bundy marked their acting roles.

Spears made her debut on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1993 alongside future superstars Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, and more. She appeared on the series until the following year. The singer signed her first record deal in 1997 — and as they say, the rest is history.

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As for Portman, she starred in her first film role in the action-thriller Léon: The Professional in 1994. Throughout her 30-year career, the Oscar winner has starred in over 70 movies.

Portman has been promoting her new film, May December, in which she stars alongside Julianne Moore and Charles Melton.

The logline for the Netflix film reads: “Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under the pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past.”

Portman stars as the actress researching to portray Moore’s character Gracie for a film, while Melton portrays Gracie’s husband Joe. In May December, which drew inspiration from the real-life Mary Kay Letourneau scandal, Moore’s Gracie met her eventual husband, Joe, when she was 36 and he was 13.

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