Natalie Portman's lifecast
Natalie Portman, the actress who played Queen Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars saga, is touring around Silicon Valley in search of funding for a new project. The winsome movie star, who came to public notice as a 12-year-old in the charge of a grizzled assassin, is proposing a continuous video feed of her work and personal life. One investor that met with her: George Zachary of Charles River Ventures, the former playboy who now gets his kicks by investing at extraordinary valuations. Remind me: when did Silicon Valley go Hollywood?
Hollywood is freaked by the emergence of instant celebrities, in reality television, and on web sites such as Youtube. The agencies, and the stars, want in on the action, just as they did during the last internet boom. Thus CAA, the number one talent agency, put Will Ferrell, the comedic actor, together with Sequoia Capital. The result: Funny or Die, a version of Youtube for comedy clips.
Natalie Portman's effort appears more in the line of Justin.tv, the Yale graduate who had been filming every minute of his life, or Lonely Girl 15, the Youtube character who recorded a spectacularly popular video diary from her fictional bedroom. We know this only because one of Zachary's colleagues asked, rather indiscreetly, on Twitter: "How big of an audience do you think natalie portman lifecasting could attract?"
The answer? I'm sure it could draw a crowd, at least initially. Natalie Portman is attractive, and the concept of the celebrity reveal-all is sufficiently fresh, at least on the web. When other Hollywood stars follow the lead, which they will, the novelty will wear off. Then, again, that's exactly what they've been saying about reality television for, oh, about the last five years.