Natalie Portman loved making Garden State as she was able to concentrate on the characters instead of explosions on the Star Wars films.

The Harvard-educated beauty, 23, revels in the diversity of moving from special effect-dominated films like the George Lucas tales to more low-budget character-study movies.

Portman says, "It definitely brings you down to the essential elements, as there aren't explosions, battles or special effects but really about the characters, story and relationships.

"So, it definitely makes it more concentrated, where all the energy's concentrated in this one thing instead of dispersed over a larger scene.

"The cool thing also with Garden State, was that we didn't have the time and budget to do lighting setups for two hours, so we just had to keep barrelling forward, going and going and just shooting non-stop so I also think that sense of urgency and energy of that really carried over into the film."

04/08/2004 02:31