Natalie Portman isn't shying away from the wild diaper controversy that is surrounding her new film, Lucy in the Sky. Her role in the film is based loosely on real-life astronaut Lisa Nowak who drive 900 miles cross-country to confront her boyfriend after returning from space. She allegedly wore a diaper during the road trip so she wouldn't have to stop for bathroom breaks. In the movie, Portman's character does not sport a diaper at any point.
The actress was recently on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to address the diaper debate. “The original story was that this woman drove across country to kind of confront or kidnap — depending on the version — her boyfriend and his new girlfriend,” Portman said. “And she wore a diaper so that she didn’t have to stop on the way. We didn’t do that in the movie and everyone’s like: ‘Where’s the diaper?!’ Everyone’s really upset to not see me in a diaper.”
DeGeneres offered a solution: Portman could just lie and say she was wearing one and no one would know. “That’s a good line. I’m wearing one right now," Portman joked.
The director of Lucy in the Sky had to address the diaper issue himself at the movie's premiere last week.
“I found it interesting that response, people who said, 'There's no diaper and I'm not OK with that.’ I thought it said more about them really; what is it that makes you want that detail, that makes you want to reduce her to a punch line again?," Noah Hawley told the Hollywood Reporter. "The goal of the film is to re-humanize her and to build empathy for her, to show you that she had an emotional and existential crisis and that's part of becoming an adult."
In real life, Nowark was a commander in the U.S. Navy and was selected to be a mission specialist in robotics for NASA in 1996. She flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2006 and was in charge of the robotic arms of that craft and the International Space Station.
In 2007, Nowark was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping of U.S. Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman. She later accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to charges of felony burglary of a car and misdemeanor battery. She was terminated by NASA later that year.
The movie version of Nowark's story hits theaters on Oct. 4.