Natalie Portman - Biography
Natalie Portman, born Natalie
Hershlag; June 9, 1981) is an Israeli American actress. Her first role
came in the 1994 independent film Léon (known in the United States as The
Professional). She achieved wider fame after playing Padmé Amidala in the
Star Wars prequel trilogy. Portman, who has said "I'd rather be smart than
a movie star," completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at Harvard
College while she was working on the Star Wars films.
In 2001, Portman opened in New York City's Public Theater production of
Chekhov's The Seagull, alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Philip
Seymour Hoffman. In 2005, Portman received a Golden Globe Award as Best
Supporting Actress in the drama Closer. In May 2008, she served as the
youngest member of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival jury. Portman's
directorial debut, Eve, opened the 65th Venice International Film
Festival's shorts competition in 2008.
Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel. Her father, Avner Hershlag, is an
Israeli doctor specializing in fertility and reproduction (reproductive
endocrinology). Her mother, Shelley Stevens, is an American homemaker who
now works as her agent. Portman's maternal ancestors were Jews from
Austria and Russia, and her paternal ancestors were Jews who immigrated to
Israel from Poland and Romania. Her paternal grandfather's parents died in
Auschwitz, and her Romanian-born great-grandmother was a spy for the
British during World War II.
Portman's parents met at a Jewish student center at Ohio State University
where her mother was selling tickets. Her father returned to Israel, and
the two corresponded and were married when her mother visited Israel a few
years later. In 1984, when Portman was three years old, the family moved
to the United States, where her father received his medical training. The
family first lived in Washington, D.C., where Portman attended Charles E.
Smith Jewish Day School, but relocated to Connecticut in 1988, and then
settled permanently in Long Island, New York, in 1990. Portman has said
that although she "really love the States... my heart's in Jerusalem.
That's where I feel at home." She is an only child and very close to her
parents, who are often seen with her at her film premieres.
Although she says her family was not religious, Portman attended a Jewish
elementary school, the Solomon Schechter Day School of Glen Cove, New
York. She graduated from a public high school, Syosset High School.
Portman skipped the premiere of Star Wars: Episode I so she could study
for her high school final exams.
In June 2003, Portman graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's
degree in psychology. At Harvard, Portman was Alan Dershowitz's research
assistant (he thanks her in The Case for Israel) in a psychology lab.
While attending Harvard, she was a resident of Lowell House and wrote a
letter to the Harvard Crimson in response to an anti-Israeli essay.
Portman took graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the
spring of 2004. In March 2006, she appeared as a guest lecturer at a
Columbia University course in terrorism and counterterrorism, where she
spoke about her film V for Vendetta.
In addition to being bilingual in Hebrew and English, Portman has studied
French, Japanese, German, and Arabic.
As a student, Portman co-authored two research papers that were published
in professional scientific journals. Her 1998 high school paper, "A Simple
Method To Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar,"
was entered in the Intel Science Talent Search. In 2002, she contributed
to a study on memory called "Frontal Lobe Activation During Object
Permanence" during her psychology studies at Harvard.
Portman started dancing lessons at age 4 and performed in local troupes.
At the age of 10, a Revlon agent asked her to become a child model, but
she turned down the offer to focus on acting. In a magazine interview,
Portman said that she was "different from the other kids. I was more
ambitious, I knew what I liked and what I wanted, and I worked very hard.
I was a very serious kid."
Portman spent her school holidays attending theater camps. When she was
10, she auditioned for Ruthless!, a play about a girl who is prepared to
commit murder to get the lead in a school play, and she was chosen as the
understudy for Laura Bell Bundy. In 1994, she auditioned for the role of a
child who befriends a middle-aged hitman in Luc Besson's film, Léon (aka
The Professional). Soon after getting the part, she took her grandmother's
maiden name "Portman" as her stage name, in the interest of privacy; in
the director's cut of the film on DVD, she is credited as Natalie
Hershlag. Léon opened on November 18, 1994, marking her feature film debut
at age 13. That same year she appeared in the short film Developing, which
aired on television.
During the mid-1990s, Portman had roles in the films Heat, Everyone Says I
Love You, and Mars Attacks!, as well as a major role in Beautiful Girls.
She was the first choice to play Juliet in William Shakespeare's Romeo +
Juliet, but producers felt her age wasn't suitable. In 1997, Portman
played the role of Anne Frank in a Broadway adaptation of The Diary of
Anne Frank. She initially turned down the lead role in the film Anywhere
but Here after learning it would involve a sex scene, but director Wayne
Wang and actress Susan Sarandon demanded a rewrite of the script; Portman
was shown a new draft, and she joined the project. The film opened in late
1999, and she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting
Actress for her role as Ann August. Critic Mary Elizabeth Williams of
Salon called Portman "astonishing" and said that "unlike any number of
actresses her age, she's neither too maudlin nor too plucky." In the late
1990s, Portman was cast as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
The first part, The Phantom Menace, opened in early 1999. She then signed
on to play the lead role of a teenaged mother in Where the Heart Is.
After filming Where the Heart Is, Portman moved into the dorms of Harvard
University to pursue her bachelor's degree in psychology. She said in a
1999 interview that, with the exception of the Star Wars prequels, she
would not act for the next four years in order to concentrate on studying.
During the summer break from June to September 2000, Portman filmed Star
Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in Sydney, along with additional
production in London. In July 2001, Portman opened in New York City's
Public Theater production of Chekhov's The Seagull, directed by Mike
Nichols; she played the role of Nina alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline,
and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The play opened at the Delacorte Theater in
Central Park. That same year, she was one of many celebrities who made
cameo appearances in the 2002 comedy Zoolander. Portman was cast in a
small role in the film Cold Mountain alongside Jude Law and Nicole Kidman.
In 2004, Portman appeared in the independent movies Garden State and
Closer. Garden State was an official selection of the Sundance Film
Festival and won Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards. Her
performance as Alice in Closer saw Portman win a Supporting Actress Golden
Globe as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting
The final Star Wars prequel, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
was released on May 19, 2005. The film was the highest grossing domestic
film of the year, and was voted Favorite Motion Picture at the People's
Choice Awards. Also in 2005, Portman filmed Free Zone and director Miloš
Forman's Goya's Ghosts. Forman had not seen any of her work but thought
she looked like a Goya painting, so he requested a meeting.
Portman appeared on Saturday Night Live on March 4, 2006, hosting the show
with musical guest Fall Out Boy and special guest star Dennis Haysbert. In
a SNL Digital Short, she portrays herself as an angry gangsta rapper (with
Andy Samberg as her Flavor Flav-esque partner in Viking garb) during a
faux-interview with Chris Parnell, saying she cheated at Harvard
University while high on pot and cocaine. The song, titled "Natalie's
Rap," was released - alongside other sketches from the show - in 2009 on
Incredibad, an album by the Lonely Island. In another sketch, she portrays
a student named Rebecca Hershlag (her actual surname) attending a Bar
Mitzvah, and in an installment of the recurring sketch The Needlers (also
known as Sally and Dan, The Couple That Should Be Divorced), plays a
fertility specialist (her father's profession).
V for Vendetta opened in early 2006. Portman portrayed Evey Hammond, a
young woman who is saved from the secret police by the main character, V.
Portman worked with a voice coach for the role, learning to speak with an
English accent, and she famously had her head shaved.
Portman has commented on V for Vendetta's political relevance and
mentioned that her character, who joins an underground anti-government
group, is "often bad and does things that you don't like" and that "being
from Israel was a reason I wanted to do this because terrorism and
violence are such a daily part of my conversations since I was little."
She said the film "doesn't make clear good or bad statements. It respects
the audience enough to take away their own opinion".
Both Goya's Ghosts and Free Zone received limited releases in 2006.
Portman starred in the children's film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium,
which began filming in April 2006 and was released in November 2007; she
has said that she was "excited to do a kids' movie." In late 2006, Portman
filmed The Other Boleyn Girl, a historical drama in which she plays Anne
Boleyn; Eric Bana and Scarlett Johansson co-starred. She was named one of
the hottest women of film and TV by Blender Magazine.
In 2006, she filmed Wong Kar-wai's road movie My Blueberry Nights. She won
acclaim for her role as gambler Leslie, because "for once she's not
playing a waif or a child princess but a mature, full-bodied woman... but
she's not coasting on her looks... She uses her appeal to simultaneously
flirt with and taunt the gambler across the table." Portman voiced Bart
Simpson's girlfriend Darcy in the episode "Little Big Girl" of The
Simpsons' 18th season. She appeared in Paul McCartney's music video "Dance
Tonight" from his 2007 album Memory Almost Full, directed by Michel
Gondry. Portman co-starred in the Wes Anderson short film Hotel Chevalier,
opposite Jason Schwartzman, in which she performed her first nude scene.
In May 2008, Portman served as the youngest member of the 61st Annual
Cannes Film Festival jury, and in 2009, she starred opposite Tobey Maguire
and Jake Gyllenhaal in the drama film Brothers, a remake of the 2004
Danish film of the same name.
Portman has been cast in the role of Jane Foster in Kenneth Branagh's
upcoming film adaptation of Thor. She will also play a veteran ballerina
in Darren Aronofskys Black Swan. Portman will produce and star as
Elizabeth Bennet in the 2010 novel adaptation Pride and Prejudice and
Zombies, under the direction of Richard Kelly.
Portman, who has been a vegetarian since childhood and became a vegan in
2009 after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, is an advocate
for animal rights. She does not eat animal products or wear fur, feathers,
or leather. "All of my shoes are from Target and Stella McCartney," she
has said. It has been reported that she will appear alongside actress
Elissa Sursara in a PETA public service announcement to support the
group's anti-fur campaign at some point in 2009. In 2007, she launched her
own brand of vegan footwear.
In 2007, Natalie Portman traveled to Rwanda with Jack Hanna, to film a
documentary titled Gorillas on the Brink. Later, at a naming ceremony,
Portman named a baby gorilla Gukina, which means "to play." Portman has
been an advocate of environmental causes since childhood, when she joined
an environmental song and dance troupe known as World Patrol Kids. She is
also a member of the One Voice movement.
Portman was involved with the 2004 presidential campaign of Democratic
candidate John Kerry and has supported antipoverty activities. In 2004 and
2005, she traveled to Uganda, Guatemala, and Ecuador as the Ambassador of
Hope for FINCA International, an organization that promotes micro-lending
to help finance women-owned businesses in poor countries. In an interview
conducted backstage at the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia and appearing on
the PBS program Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria, she discussed
microfinance. Host Fareed Zakaria said that he was "generally wary of
celebrities with fashionable causes," but included the segment with
Portman because "she really knew her stuff." In the "Voices" segment of
the April 29, 2007, episode of the ABC Sunday Morning Program This Week
with George Stephanopoulos, Portman discussed her work with FINCA and how
it can benefit women and children in Third World countries. In fall 2007,
Portman visited several university campuses, including Harvard, UCLA, UC
Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton, New York University, and Columbia, to
inspire students with the power of microfinance and to encourage them to
join the Village Banking Campaign to help families and communities lift
themselves out of poverty.
During the 2008 Democratic primaries, Portman supported Senator Hillary
Clinton for president, but said "I also like Obama. I even like McCain. I
disagree with his war stance — which is a really big deal — but I think
he's a very moral person." She later campaigned for Obama during the
On the concept of the afterlife, she comments: "I don't believe in that. I
believe this is it, and I believe it's the best way to live." She has said
that she feels more Jewish in Israel and that she would like to raise her
children in the Jewish religion: "A priority for me is definitely that I'd
like to raise my kids Jewish, but the ultimate thing is to have someone
who is a good person and who is a partner."
In the May 2002 issue of Vogue, Portman called actor/musician Lukas Haas
and musician Moby her close friends. After starring in the video for his
song "Carmensita," she began a relationship with American folk singer
Devendra Banhart that ended in September 2008.
Natalie Portman - Personal Quotes
On Lolita (1997): "I don't
think there needs to be a movie out where a child has sex with an
On Lolita (1997): I think there's enough exploitation out there that
it's not nescessary to do more.
"Young actors often don't think of the consequences of doing nudity
or sex scenes. They want the role so badly that they agree to be
exploited, and then end up embarassing family, friends, and even
On acting: "I started to do this at age 11. At age 20, I might say,
this is enough."
On violence in the media: "We live in a violent world, but since the
success of films like Pulp Fiction (1994), it seems every movie has
some violence in it, and it's now being used as a form of comedy:
audiences are now being encouraged to laugh when people get their
heads blown off. I just don't like hearing people laugh at
"I also feel I'm a positive role model by not putting my education
"I want to use college to explore what other careers I might be
On acting: "I'm taking it day by day. Right now I like acting, but
if something else sparks my interest in college, I'll do that. It's
so limiting to say, this is it for the rest of my life. There are so
many things that interest me: I love math, science, literature,
On Lolita (1997): "Let me tell you, this movie's going to be
"I'm going to college. I don't care if it ruined my career. I'd
rather be smart than a movie star."
"I don't know if acting is what I want to do for the rest of my
life, it's just what I've, you Know, ended up doing when I was
little, and I've kinda grown up with it."
"When I'm working they pretty much treat me like an adult, but then
when there's a break everyone else goes to their trailers and drinks
beer and I like, go to school."
"There's so much else to do in the world. To just be interested in
doing films would limit my life."
"I think school is so much harder than real life. People are so much
more accepting when they are adults."
"Danny [Aiello] told me, 'Don't do television.'"
"Cute is when a person's personality shines through their looks.
Like in the way they walk, every time you see them you just want to
run up and hug them."
"I've never tried smoking. I don't drink. I've never tried drugs."
(Australian Dolly August 2000)
"Politics is easy to segue into from acting. I'm very interested in
it, though I would never run for office. But after this, anything I
do is going to seem very bizarre to me." (Interview October 1999)
"No, but I've been thinking about it a lot. I love acting, but I
don't know if there's something out there that I love more. That's
what college is going to be about for me - checking things out."
(Interview October 1999)
When asked by Seventeen magazine what advice she had for teenagers
going off to college she said, "I would say practicing laundry it's
so hard." (November 1999)
"There is a lot lacking on the intellectual side and on the values
side when being an actor." (Seventeen, November 1999)
Told the November 1999 issue of Mademoiselle magazine that she
wished she knew David Letterman because, "He seems to be so smart,
but you never get to hang out with him after the show."
When asked by German Cosmopolitan (3/00) if she would like having
herself as a daughter she replied, "Well of course. I am a good
person, nice, smart, witty, trustworthy, know nice people, don't do
drugs and earn a lot of money." On what she likes about her parents:
"They have made it quite clear that they believe I can be great. Had
my parents expected less of me,I would not be the person I am now.
And I am very happy with myself." (German Cosmopolitan March 2000)
"I'm not planning to be an actress as an adult, I'm planning other
things for my future." Source: Venice Magazine July 1995
"I don't think I'd be able to deal with just acting, because I don't
know if you get to use your brain that much. You do, for certain
roles, but not most. Acting is more of a hobby for me."
"There's a big intellectual aspect that's kind of lacking, " she
says of acting in films. "Right now I supplement that through being
in school. I'm not sure I'd be happy if I was just acting. I haven't
explored a lot of other avenues. Hopefully I'll figure it out by the
end of school, so I know what I want to do with my life."
When asked about her prom dress: "A designer is going to give me
something to wear. It's the most amazing perk I have."
"I didn't have this undying need to be an actress. I didn't have
that fire in me ever -- at any point. And still, I don't think I
have that within me."
"I don't really know if acting would have ultimately become my
passion as an adult, or if there's something else I would have found
had I not been in the pizza shop. That's what college is helping me
"I'm ready to ditch the movies and keep at the books. There are so
many other things, and it would feel limiting to say, 'Acting is it
for me.'... I love psychology. That's what I'm studying right now.
It would probably be difficult, because of my current occupation, to
become a clinical psychologist, but I could certainly do research.
And I'd like to have a family someday, too."
It's horrible to be a sex object at any age, but at least when
you're an adult you can make the decision if you want to degrade
"I don't go wagging my boobs around in people's faces" - Rolling
Stone (USA) June, 2002
"I couldn't be anorexic because I like food too much, and I couldn't
be bulimic because I hate throwing up too much."
"I've wanted to be an astronaut, a doctor, a vet - these are things
I've said in interviews. Before that, I wanted to be a mermaid and a
"I was in a relationship recently with someone who yelled at me for
being too much in my head, you know? He said I was thinking too much
"I usually run three or four times a week now. Pretty boring, but
it's so worth it. It's done wonders for my mood".
"I basically have a little boy's body. They tell me, 'OK, this is
where we're going to push up your cleavage,' and I'm like, 'What
On traveling through Morocco with a guide and sleeping in tents:
"They knew that I am Israeli, and yet they still opened the doors of
their houses for me, offering me tea. They all were nice and
"As I look back on it, I'm glad that I had this false image. I was
who everyone else - my parents, my friends, society - wanted me to
be. I was a pleaser, someone who wanted to make everyone happy, to
not let anyone down. Now, I'm not like that."
"My contemporaries in Israel have a love for life that's amazing.
There, there is not the luxurious and rich existence of material
goods of Hollywood films, every day they struggle to survive, but
they still have an enthusiasm difficult to find elsewhere."
"My grandfather was a Polish Jew and a socialist, and as a youngster
he helped to organize special camps to teach agriculture to all the
young men that where moving to Israel, where in 1930, they created
the first kibbutz."
"At college I began to do research for a professor and so I became
part of the organization promoted by the Queen of Jordon: the
Foundation for International Community Assistance. That offers
microcredits, offering small loans of money to women who want to
start their own businesses. The interest is very low and the results
I'm pretty much a boring Goody Two-shoes. I've definitely gotten
drunk before, I don't think it's possible to go through college
without getting drunk, but I don't really like it at all. I actually
tried my first cigarette last year at school. I just figured, if
many people are smoking, there must be something to it, and before I
pooh- pooh it I should at least know what it's about. I took one
puff and I was like, OK, I was right. There's nothing to it. They're
just wrong, it's disgusting.
"I've been doing like one movie a year so I haven't made that many
movies. A lot of girls my age have done 40 already, so I guess I'm a
"I get like 400 Holocaust scripts. That's what you get for being the
openly Jewish actress!"
"I wanted to be able to form my own sexual identity. If other people
have you in their mind as some sort of sex object, you have two
choices: either live up to it and become super-sexual or rebel
against it and be super-asexual."
"I'm the anti-Method actor. As soon as we finish a scene, I need to
go back to being myself, because it freaks me out. But it was hard
not to take this home with me. I would feel cheated on when I went
home. There were weekend nights I would lie in bed instead of going
out with my friends."
"I had a bad early experience when "The Professional" came out. I'm
really proud of the film, but it was strange for me to be looked at
as a sexual object when I was 12."
I think it is a really beautiful thing that we have recognition
within our industry - but it's not that important.
But we have to remember that almost all films are written and
directed by men. Female characters are women imagined by men, so
it's always this classic figure of a sexy woman with a childish
You walk into a nice strip club, the ones where the women are
treated well - obviously 'well' is debatable - and the women just
seem so powerful. Women have full control; they can get whatever
they want from these guys. But they realise it is a tacit contract:
they are that way because men want them to be like that. Obviously,
if the men wanted them on the floor scrubbing their shoes they'd
probably be doing that too.
"I see that my girlfriends, already at 23, are thinking, 'What
career can I choose that will also suit having children?' And it is
limiting. Whereas my male friends aren't thinking that way." -
"Some people will think I'm a neo-Nazi or that I have cancer or I'm
a lesbian. After all the crazy hairstyles I had to endure for the
films, it's quite liberating to have no hair - especially in this
heat." - about going bald
On filming Star Wars: "You learn after your first blue-screen movie,
and more after your second, the extent to which you have to prepare.
You have to come up with the scenery, the characters, the whole
world, as well as what's going on with you. You're often talking to
a tape mark instead of a character, and you have to project what
they might be thinking, what's going on, how they're treating you."
On filming Free Zone in Jerusalem: "I was sleeping five hours a
night and we were running from location to location and making up
the story as we went along. There's a scene where my arms are
uncovered and I'm very close to the guy. People got upset and we
moved to another place. It was just crazy because they were calling
us Nazis, and I think that's a little much."
"I was the precocious one when I was younger, and now I'm the
girlish one, which ultimately means I've stayed the same. Which is
not a good sign."
"People think the film industry is going to corrupt me. I wasn't
really home when my friends were trying pot for the first time. I
was always around adults who wouldn't curse or smoke or do anything
like that around me."
"The people whose secrets I most want to know are people who
actually have families and marriages as well as careers - people
like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore. I think that
if I were like mid-30s and didn't have kids yet I would probably
start adopting or something. Aargh, I don't even have a boyfriend,
and I'm talking about kids!"
On starring in Closer (2004/I): "It's not exploitative, but it is
about sex. No kids allowed. It's definitely a different thing for
me, but I feel like I'm old enough to handle it now. I sort of
understand more how to deal with it publicly, and it doesn't shatter
me. I don't have to go to school the next day and have people be
like, 'Oh I saw you in that movie; you were very dirty'".
"I think, especially in those first few years of college, my body
started changing a lot. I got hips. Your metabolism changes; you're
not exercising as much. I ran track for a couple of years in high
school, and I was also dancing. I was always doing something. At
Harvard, you don't really join the team unless you're a star."
"They are all so very different, Episode III is very dark and much
more demanding, we all know that Anakin becomes Darth Vader but to
actually see this transition is very painful. So when you have such
a dark story to work with it demands you as an actor to work harder.
So even though I haven't seen the film yet I would suppose that the
last one is my favorite". (On which of the three Star Wars prequels
is her favorite)
"I began Star Wars when I was 14 and I'm going to be 24 when this
final movie comes out, so these movies were 10 years of my life and
now I'm just trying to do something different."
"I agree with Walter Murch's theory that digital will never have the
emotional or visual power of regular film, because audiences respond
to absences. Regular film has a split second of blank screen between
each shot, which the audience's brain has to automatically fill in.
Digital doesn't have that, so it doesn't engage the audience in the
same ways. In all modernist literature, the most present thing is
what's absent. Like the opening of The Sound and the Fury, where
they're looking between the fence. Or in Closer the most important
parts, the relationships, are missing and have to be filled in by
the audience. Absences are crucial."
"I was especially fascinated by memory studies. There was one that
requested people's good and bad memories, and then checked them for
content. But non- pathological people, people who maintain a happy,
healthy brain, couldn't provide negative memories. They'd say, 'But
I learned this from the experience;' they'd turn their negative
memories into positive ones."
"I get a copy of every action figure from Star Wars. I send them to
charity. Some of the really cool ones I keep. Like there's a snow
globe thing with one of the spacecrafts in it, which is also a music
box, which I really love."
(asked if winning the Globe was a shock) God, yes! I was so sure I
wasn't going to win it, I went up to Meryl Streep (nominated for The
Manchurian Candidate) before the show and said, "You're going down."
We'd done a play together, so I knew her pretty well, but to me, it
was a big joke, like, I'm going to win against Meryl-yeah, right.
When they called my name, all I could think was, oh no, Meryl's
going to be mad at me!
(on the necklace she gave Julia Roberts) Oh, I made the mistake of
telling one person I did that - now everyone loves this story! It
was just a joke, because there were lots of dirty words in the
script, and every time Julia had to say a bad word she got all
The moment you buy into the idea you're above anyone else is the
moment you need to be slapped in the face.
I actually am starting to feel I should start a revolution against
heels, even though that wouldn't be a dramatic revolution. Everyone
around me says, 'You have to wear heels.' It's based on some silly
concept that longer legs are more beautiful.
"In seventh grade I cried every single day when I came back from
shooting The Professional. My friends were not my friends. They were
saying, 'She thinks she's so hot now,' things like that, and it was
the most painful thing I've ever gone through. Clearly, I haven't
had that difficult a life." - Jane Magazine 1999
"Ashley (Judd) and I went to this place called the Broken Spoke. You
walk in and everyone's wearing cowboy hats and men come up to you
and ask you to dance. We danced the two-step together, and all these
men were coming up, saying, "It's not right to see two ladies
dancing. Let us cut in!"
"There were stories in the house of what had happened to them (her
grandparents during the Holocaust), and it wasn't that much talked
about. I had to go on a website to read my grandfather's
descriptions of what happened to the family."
[on Tom Tykwer, and working with him during his personal crisis]
"The very first time we met we were able to tell each other so much
about our personal experiences and what we were going through at the
moment- my own experience was a similarly difficult and pivotal one
for me, though obviously a bit more adolescent than Tom's. It was
part of what made the film seem like a joint search for something, a
[on shooting the strip-club scene fully nude] "You can't do this
stuff half-assed, pun intended."
[asked how she would like to be remembered] "I don't like that
question. That question only provides irony if you prematurely die."
[Morocco] "When I finished V for Vendetta (2005), I went for a few
days as sort of a birthday present for myself. I went out into the
desert and an amazing storm was taking place, which is so unusual in
the desert. I ended up in a tent with the six strangers whom I had
just met, and had traveled with earlier on camel back. There we
were, watching this amazing lightening in the middle of the desert.
The tent was shaking and it was a really exciting experience."
"I aspire to make more comedies because we never see enough good
"When I was nine and attending a Jewish school, we had different
kosher lunches served. We weren't kosher at home. My mom used to
make me chicken salad sandwiches and I would have to lie to
everyone, saying it was tuna. "It doesn't smell like tuna," they'd
[On preparing for her role as Queen Amidala] "George worked with me
a lot, on changing my voice and my movement and the way I carried
myself. We worked on this accent that ... kinda goes to old, older
generations of actresses who used kind of an unidentifiable accent.
'Is it American or is it British?' and I watched Lauren Bacall,
Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn. If you look at them, their voices
and the stature is so regal, even in their everyday characters. And
that's kinda why I used it to model after".
Natalie Portman - Filmography
Pride and Prejudice and
Zombies (2011) .... Elizabeth Bennet
Thor (2011) .... Jane Foster
... aka The Mighty Thor (International: English title: copyright
Black Swan (2010) .... Nina
Your Highness (2010) .... Isabel
Hesher (2010) .... Nicole
Brothers (2009/I) .... Grace Cahill
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (2009) .... Emilia Greenleaf
New York, I Love You (2009) .... Rifka (segment "Mira Nair")
... aka New York, je t'aime (France: literal title)
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) .... Anne Boleyn
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007) .... Molly Mahoney, the
The Darjeeling Limited (2007) .... Jack's Ex-Girlfriend
Hotel Chevalier (2007) .... Jack's Girlfriend
... aka Part 1 of 'The Darjeeling Limited' (USA: subtitle)
My Blueberry Nights (2007) .... Leslie
"The Simpsons" .... Darcy (1 episode, 2007)
- Little Big Girl (2007) TV episode (voice) .... Darcy
Goya's Ghosts (2006) .... Inés / Alicia
... aka Los fantasmas de Goya (Spain: dubbed version)
Paris, je t'aime (2006) .... Francine (segment "Faubourg
... aka Paris, I Love You (Hong Kong: English title) (International:
... aka Paris, je t'aime (UK) (USA)
V for Vendetta (2005) .... Evey Hammond
... aka V for Vendetta: At the IMAX (UK: IMAX version)
... aka V for Vendetta: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)
... aka V wie Vendetta (Germany)
Free Zone (2005) .... Rebecca
... aka Free Zone (France)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) .... Padmé
... aka Revenge of the Sith (USA: short title)
... aka Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (USA: DVD box title)
... aka Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (USA: promotional title)
Domino One (2005) .... Dominique Bellamy
... aka D-One (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka D.1. (USA: promotional abbreviation)
Closer (2004/I) .... Alice
True (2004) .... Francine
Garden State (2004) .... Sam
"Sesame Street" .... Natalie (1 episode, 2004)
... aka Open Sesame (New Zealand: English title: new syndication
... aka Sesame Street Unpaved (USA: syndication title)
... aka The New Sesame Street (USA: new syndication title)
- Episode #35.4 (2004) TV episode .... Natalie
Cold Mountain (2003) .... Sara
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) .... Senator
... aka Attack of the Clones (USA: short title)
... aka Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version
... aka Star Wars II (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (USA: video box title)
... aka Star Wars: Episode II (Australia: TV title)
Where the Heart Is (2000) .... Novalee Nation
Anywhere But Here (1999) .... Ann August
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) .... Queen Padmé
... aka Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (USA: video box title)
... aka The Phantom Menace (USA: short title)
Mars Attacks! (1996) .... Taffy Dale
Everyone Says I Love You (1996) .... Laura Dandridge
Beautiful Girls (1996) .... Marty
Heat (1995) .... Lauren Gustafson
Léon (1994) .... Mathilda
... aka Léon (UK)
... aka Leon: The Professional (USA: longer version)
... aka The Professional (USA)
Developing (1994) .... Nina
Natalie Portman - Related Links
Wikipedia: Natalie Portman
YouTube: Natalie Portman