Hollywood actress Natalie Portman only took her role in Garden State because she had no other job offers. Portman, who experienced a slowdown in her career after starring in the Star Wars films, found it extremely difficult to find challenging roles. The 24-year-old CLOSER star became so desperate to work that she agreed to the role of SAM in Garden State, which was written by SCRUBS star Zach Braff. Portman says, "After I'd done all the Star Wars movies, a lot of people were thinking of giving me the dramatic challenges I was ready for. "I mean no offence at all to Zach, but I wanted to work so badly."