Natalie Portman: Beauty and Brains

Natalie Portman is one of Hollywood’s most respected and accomplished A-list celebrities. 

The revered American actress is a Harvard University graduate, civil rights activist, and multiple award winner for her work on and off the silver screen.

The star-to-be was born in June 9, 1981, in Israel to Jewish parents, and was given the name Neta-Lee Hershlag at birth. When she landed her debut film role as Mathilda in ‘Léon: The Professional,’ the actress changed her name in order to maintain her privacy.

Acting Career

Portman has acted in several well-known films, including the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘Black Swan,’ ‘Closer,’  ‘V for Vendetta,’ ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ ‘The Other Boleyn Girl,’ among many others. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in ‘Black Swan’ and has won two Golden Globe awards for other performances.

She’s also played a part in various TV series, like ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Angie Tribeca’.

When she was 10 years old, Portman was chosen as an understudy, along with popstar Britney Spears, for actress Laura Bell Bundy. 

Demanding Respect in Hollywood

Regarding Portman’s movie choices, IMDB writes: “[Portman] Often portrays characters that are rather smart, mature, and grown up for their age.” 

Her choice in movie roles is reflected in the statement she made at the 2018 Women’s March in Los Angeles, “I excitedly opened my first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me. A countdown was started on my local radio show to my 18th birthday, euphemistically the date that I would be legal to sleep with. Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews,” the star recounts in disappointment.

Natalie Portman: Beauty and Brains   Source: Instagram

She realized that she needed to put her foot down to demand respect as a budding female star in Hollywood. She continued, “I emphasized how bookish I was and how serious I was, and I cultivated an elegant way of dressing. I built a reputation for basically being prudish, conservative, nerdy, serious, in an attempt to feel that my body was safe and that my voice would be listened to.”

Israeli Background

Furthermore, she is deeply connected to her Israeli upbringing and to the Jewish culture. She possesses a dual American-Isreali citizenship. In April 2018, she refused to accept a peace award in Israel because of ‘extremely distressing’ events in the nation. Although she did not acknowledge the events, it is believed that she was referring to the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict.

Natalie Portman’s Personal Life

Portman is married to French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied. The couple  have two children together, a boy and a girl. She met Millepied on the set of  ‘Black Swan’ where he worked as a choreographer for the movie. Before they got married, Portman had stated that she would like to raise her children as Jewish and that she was waiting for a good partner. In the interview, she added that she feels very connected to her Jewish roots.

Moreover, the actress is a passionate animal rights activist and has been a vegetarian since she was eight years old. She has supported anti-poverty causes, and donated $50,000 to the ‘Time’s Up’ movement.

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