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Portman enjoyed time in 'Garden State'

Aug. 1, 2004 at 5:14 AM

NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Natalie Portman says she was happy to act in a small, quirky film such as "Garden State" after starring in a series of recent Hollywood blockbusters.

"It was really fun to do an independent film because you just conserve your resources. You're creative with them because you don't have many," explained the 23-year-old "Star Wars" and "Cold Mountain" star.

"There's so much energy that gets lost when you're waiting two hours for a lighting setup (on a big movie.) And, miraculously, on a low-budget movie, all of a sudden they can set up a shot in two seconds," she explained. "There's such a pace and an energy. Everyone who's working on it is really young and really passionate because no one gets paid.

"They're all there because they want to be and because they can be, because they're in their 20s and don't need to feed a family. It's just a group of young people going: 'OK, we've got four weeks to finish this mission. We're going to get there and we're going to do it.' "

Written, directed and co-starring "Scrubs" star Zach Braff, "Garden State" is now in theaters.

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