Natalie Portman paid a visit to Good Morning America to promote her new film A Tale of Love & Darkness, but this film is special for the Oscar-winner because not only does she star in it, she adapted it and directed it as well.

While on hand, Portman explained why she chose this film, based on the autobiographical novel by Israeli author Amos Oz about 1940s Jerusalem, for her directorial debut.

“I read the book for the first time almost 10 years ago when it came out in translation and immediately I started seeing the film in front of my eyes,” she said, via the Daily Mirror. “And I knew that that had to be my first film to direct because it was so, so immediate in my mind.”

Portman, who has a five-year-old daughter with her husband Benjamin Millepied, likened directing to parenting, offering that both require nurturing and corralling at times.

“Well, it is actually quite a parental role being a director, because your job is to make everyone comfortable, to make sure everyone’s okay, and also get the best out of them… Like how can you encourage them and support them to get the best out of them and that is very much a parental role.”

The 35-year-old thespian shared that making the film was a very personal decision for her, whose grandparents were refugees.

“Yes, it was so similar to so many stories I’d heard growing up. My father’s side is from Israel so I heard so many stories about my grandparents as refugees coming from Europe in the late 30s to Israel, which was then British Mandated Palestine. And it’s just that shock of what it is when you’re an immigrant going to a place that is not anything like you expect it to be.”
Take a look at the actress’s stunning gown on the red carpet for A Tale of Love & Darkness in the gallery.

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