Natalie Portman has openly expressed her amusement at the uncanny similarity between the movies she starred in alongside Ashton Kutcher and the ones featuring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake.
In 2011, both sets of actors found themselves involved in romantic comedies with strikingly similar premises: Friends with Benefits (starring Kunis and Timberlake) and No Strings Attached (featuring Kutcher and Portman).
Friends with Benefits revolves around Jamie (Kunis), a headhunter based in New York, who convinces Dylan (Timberlake) to take a job at GQ. They start off as friends but complicate matters when they decide to add a sexual component to their relationship.
Similarly, No Strings Attached follows lifelong friends Emma (Portman) and Adam (Kutcher) as they take their friendship to the next level by engaging in a physical relationship, leading to inevitable complications.
The resemblance between the films did not go unnoticed, and Portman herself acknowledged the parallel during a video with GQ where she delved into social media.
Responding to a fan’s question on Twitter about the oddity of Kutcher, who is married to Kunis, starring in No Strings Attached with Portman while Kunis acted alongside Timberlake in Friends with Benefits in the same year, Portman confessed, “It’s weird. It’s totally weird. Correct.”
This is not the first time Portman has addressed the similarities between the two movies. In 2022, she joined Kutcher in his Peloton training series, ‘Our Future Selves’. During a joint jog, they finally broached the topic, reflecting on their past collaboration. “I think the first time we really started hanging out is when we shot No Strings together,” Kutcher recalled. Portman playfully responded, “Who would’ve thought 20 years later, we’d be on a Peloton together?”
The connections between the actors extend beyond their on-screen collaborations. Kutcher and Kunis, who had previously portrayed an on-screen couple in That ’70s Show, later tied the knot in real life. Furthermore, Portman reminded Kutcher that she and Kunis had recently finished filming Black Swan, a movie characterized by intricate sexual tension between their characters. “Yes, and Mila and I had just shot Black Swan together right before,” Portman added. “So we were all making out with each other.”
Indeed, it can be said that the overlap between these films created an amusing web of interconnectedness among the actors. As audiences ponder the curious circumstances surrounding these parallel projects, Portman’s lighthearted comment serves as a reminder of the unique and sometimes surreal experiences that unfold within the realm of film.