Natalie Portman to play identical twins ‘Dear Abby’ and ‘Ann Landers’

Actress to also direct film about Jewish advice columnists

August 23, 2018 03:19
1 minute read.
Cast member Natalie Portman poses at the premiere for "Annihilation" in Los Angeles, California, U.S

Cast member Natalie Portman poses at the premiere for "Annihilation" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 13, 2018. (Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni). (photo credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)


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They were known to the world as “Dear Abby” and “Ann Landers.” But the famous advice columnists were actually identical twin sisters born as Pauline Esther Friedman and Esther Pauline Friedman.

And now their story will be heading to the silver screen – with both sisters played by Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman.
In addition to portraying the identical twins, Portman is also slated to direct the film, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.
The Friedman sisters – who both married and went by Pauline Phillips and Eppie Lederer – were born in 1918 in Iowa, to Russian Jewish immigrants.

They both began writing syndicated advice columns in the 1950s that quickly took off. Though the sisters were once very close – they married in a joint ceremony in 1939 – their professional rivalry created rifts that were never totally healed. Lederer died in 2002 and Phillips died in 2013.

This will be Portman’s second time directing a feature film. Her first, A Tale of Love and Darkness – an adaptation of Amos Oz’s autobiography – was filmed in Jerusalem.

Earlier this year, Portman set off a firestorm of controversy when she backed out of an awards ceremony slated to be held in Jerusalem.

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