The days of the movie star are over, mostly. Never again will there be the same commitment from audiences to go and see a movie simply because of the name of the lead actor, no matter how bankable or how well-liked they are. That sort of expectation is a relic of a different age of cinema.
But that doesn't mean that some actors don't still trade on the idea of building a sort of enduring brand across all of their performances, rather than committing fully to the character. As we've already discussed previously, Brad Pitt loves to eat, Leonardo DiCaprio likes to raise a toast, Harrison Ford likes to wag his finger angrily... They're trademarks that you'll see in the majority of their movies if you wait long enough.
And they're not the only ones who have these recurring quirks. There are some things you can rely on some of your other favourite actors doing repeatedly too...
And why not? She's really, REALLY good at it, unlike Brad Pitt, who can't do it properly for some reason.
Anyway, Portman has become such a champion at crying in her movies that there's rarely one goes by without the film-makers demanding some sort of emotional breakdown from her. She spends a significant amount of her time wet-faced and grimacing, with particular stand-outs in Black Swan, V For Vendetta, Leon, Brothers and Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith.
She's also revealed exactly why she's so good at it. When she was filming Leon, she struggled to cry on demand, so the director used a tried and tested method to get the tears flowing:
“It was the early weeks of shooting and it was really hard for me to cry there. That was the first time that I ever had menthol blown in my eyes. They did it once and I was like ‘Okay, I can cry’ it was so painful. Every take after that I was able to focus and cry because I didn’t want anymore mint in my eye.”