That Time Jonathan Safran Foer Left His Wife for Natalie Portman and Natalie Was Like No Thanks
Gather ‘round, kiddies. It’s time for tales of cringes past.
Yesterday, the New York Times released an interview between author Jonathan Safran Foer and Natalie Portman, done entirely via largely blink-worthy emails. Read it, or go sit in a bar in Pilsen and listen to two beardos talk about bourbon and film, it’s basically the same thing.
But it did have one silver lining, if you can call one of the biggest secondhand discomforts of your adult life a silver lining. It reminded me of the time Jonathan Safran Foer left his wife for Natalie Portman. But…like…didn’t get the go ahead from Portman first.
Portman read Foer’s book Eating Animals, and loved it. It made her a vegan. So she signed on to make a documentary based on the book. They emailed a lot, as colleagues often do, and became friends. However, it would appear Foer didn’t know about the friends bit. He fell in love with Portman. At the time he was married to writer Nicole Krauss, and Portman was married to dancer Benjamin Millipied.
Foer could not take this one-sided romantic tension anymore. He told his wife he was in love with Portman.
And then he told Portman.
And she was. not. having it.
Today, Foer and Krauss are divorced. Portman and Millipied remain just fine. And the Eating Animals doc never happened because Portman was understandably super skeeved to the max by what she thought was a nice guy (ugh, girl, we’ve all been there) and she burned that whole thing to the ground.
And, so, this email-based interview is…weird. Like, weirder than two smart-types taking a full paragraph to say “the weather is hot.” Especially the lengthy opener wherein Foer says his old emails were lost to the Hotmail abyss and Portman is politely happy with this. Especially when it ends with him magically finding her original email to him saying she liked his book.
Is there a creepier creep than the smart guy creep?
Anyway, that’s the time the guy who wrote Everything Is Illuminated left his wife for someone else without checking with the someone else first.