Natalie Portman Rouge Dior Forever
Photo: Viviane Sassen for Parfums Christian Dior

Natalie Portman is having one hell of a summer. Not only has she returned to her role as Jane Foster in a little Marvel movie you may have seen, Thor: Love and Thunder (which has already earned more than $245 million at the box office), but she’s also continuing her decade-strong partnership with Dior. This time, appearing alongside Yara Shahidi in an empowering new campaign for Rouge Dior Forever Lipstick, a new transfer-proof formula that lasts up to 16 hours.

Portman sat down with before the film hit theaters—just when a still of her and costar (and BAZAAR cover star) Tessa Thompson looking all kinds of buff caused a collective Internet freak-out. But when asked who would win in arm wrestling match, the diminutive Portman gave it to the original Thor. “Chris Hemsworth for sure. He’s incredible,” she laughs.

He may win that one, but we’d argue the summer of 2022 still belongs to the ladies. Ahead, Portman talks the women who are inspiring her right now, how her beauty routine has changed post-pandemic, and more.

I love that the campaign celebrates female strength and power, especially in this moment. In that spirit, who are some of the women you’re inspired by right now?

Right now, I’ve been so inspired by so many of the female athletes I’ve gotten to know. Billie Jean King is just so extraordinary and was obviously such a talent as a player, but also really just leading the movement. Serena Williams, too, who is just so extraordinary. The women who led the charge for the women’s soccer players to get equal pay, that’s been really impressive to me recently. It should have been [that way] from the beginning. But thank goodness they fought for it, when what they deserved wasn’t given to them.

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Natalie Portman Rouge Dior Forever
Photo: Viviane Sassen for Parfums Christian Dior

And then, of course, this campaign is for a gorgeous lipstick. How would you describe your beauty routine as of late?

I feel that the experience of the pandemic has made me much more enthusiastic about beauty. I think we’re so excited to be social again and to get to see people and have human contact again. And, of course, the way we present ourselves to others face-to-face is important, so I think there’s so much joy and excitement around it now.

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Natalie Portman Rouge Dior Forever
Photo: Viviane Sassen for Parfums Christian Dior

What are some of the products you’ve been using lately?

I always have two lipsticks in my purse at all times. A natural like the 100 [Forever Nude Look], kind of a neutral color, and the 999 [Forever Dior], the classic red so that I can either feel like I’m just in my earthy tones or kind of bolder, more expressive. I always keep those with me.

Congratulations on Thor: Love and Thunder. What was it like getting to wield the iconic hammer?

It’s been incredible to get to play this part. It was so exciting for my kids. It’s kind of the first time I’ve ever gotten to do something that my kids are just freaking out about. That was really, really special. And also just to work with Taika [Waititi] and Chris and Tessa, and just experience their brilliance and their improvisation, and this really just fun atmosphere of creating wild things together every day.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.

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