Portman to play Jewish twins behind famous newspaper columns
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Portman to play Jewish twins behind famous newspaper columns

The actress will also direct the movie about the pop-culture icons who wrote Ask Ann Landers and Dear Abby, and who competed professionally for their whole careers

Director Natalie Portman attends a photocall for 'A Tale Of Love And Darkness' during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 17, 2015. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, via JTA)
Director Natalie Portman attends a photocall for 'A Tale Of Love And Darkness' during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 17, 2015. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, via JTA)

Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman has been hired to play Jewish twin sisters Pauline Esther Friedman and Esther Pauline Friedman, the authors of the famed Dear Abby and Ask Ann Landers advice columns, Variety reported Tuesday.

Born in 1918, the sisters went on to become pop-culture icons, writing under the pseudonyms Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren and competing professionally for the rest of their careers.

Portman also will direct the film, which is being produced by Oscar nominee Peter Saraf. She previously directed the 2015 film “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” based on Amos Oz’s novel about his childhood in prestate Israel.

Earlier this year, Portman made waves when she declined to go to Israel to receive the 2018 Genesis Prize, the $1 million award known colloquially as the “Jewish Nobel.”

In an Instagram post, Portman issued a statement on Instagram saying that she did not want “to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony.” She also clarified that she does not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

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