Natalie remembers the point in her career when she was getting flack for playing Padme Amidala in the second installment of the Star Wars franchise. Mike was working with her in a stage production of Seagull and vouched for her to be cast in Cold Mountain. Nichols would eventually cast her in the film adaptation of Closer (co-starring Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, and Jude Law). She credits him for rebooting her career (which in a nutshell means her eventual casting in Garden State and V for Vendetta).
"[...] everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me."
Just to tie it up in a bow, Natalie won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2011 for her performance in Black Swan