Natalie Portman Talks Working on Her Jackie Kennedy Accent

She relied on her Long Island roots to play the former First Lady in Jackie.

Natalie Portman and Jimmy Fallon

Photo by Andrew Lipovsky / NBC

Natalie Portman discussed the challenges of transforming into Jackie Kennedy for her latest big screen role on Tuesday night’s episode of the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The Oscar-winning actress and Harvard alum told the late-night host that she was initially unsure about playing the former First Lady in the new film Jackie. The upcoming drama revolves around how she dealt with the heartbreaking moments in the immediate aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Although playing Jackie was a daunting task, Portman admitted that wearing the former First Lady’s “iconic” hairdo helped get her into character.

“I never really thought of myself as someone who can do imitations of a real person,” Portman said. “The thing that was remarkable is when you put the wig on, everyone can look like her.”

Portman also revealed that she relied on her Long Island roots in order to get the accent right.

“It’s a very specific accent,” Portman said. “I’m from Long Island, so I can go back to my roots quite easily and she’s got some of that.”

“Then she has like this fancy thing too from finishing school,” she added before giving the audience a taste of her best Jackie impression.

Check out more from Portman’s chat with Fallon below.