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Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman36 posts

Natalie Portman is an American actress noted for her roles as Queen Padmé Amidala in Star Wars and Dr. Jane Foster in Thor. She was born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1981 and later moved to Long Island, New York where she grew up. She studied at Harvard University where she earned a degree in psychology, and in 2010 she received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as the Swan Queen in Black Swan. She and her husband, dancer Benjamin Millepied have a son.

9 Jun, 1981

Natalie Portman born in Jerusalem


Natalie Portman ChildNatalie Portman, originally Natalie Hershlag, is born in Jerusalem to American Shelley Stevens and Israeli doctor Avner Hershlag. She and her family moved to the United States in 1984. She spends most of her childhood in New York, where she enrolled in theatrical camps and ballet classes.

As a child, I idealized ballet because, as a little girl, you just think of it as this pretty, light, delicate and feminine thing.

Jan 1993

Discovered by modeling agent

At the age of 11, the actress is noticed at a Long Island pizza parlor. A representative from Revlon Cosmetics encouraged Portman to pursue a career in modeling. She declined because she wanted to focus solely on acting. On meeting the Revlon rep.:

I was like, I don’t want to model. I want to act.

18 Nov, 1994

Léon: The Professional

Film Appearance

Portman stars as Mathilda in the 1994 drama Léon: The Professional. The actress makes her Hollywood debut at the age of 11, alongside actors Jean Reno and Gary Oldman. Mathilda is a young New York girl whose entire family is killed by a corrupt cop. She finds shelter in her neighbor Léon’sapartment and uncovers his secret profession of being a hitman. On reading her script for the first time:

I read it and I was crying by the end. I was a very emotional kid.

15 Dec, 1995


Film Appearance

Portman stars as Lauren Gustafson in the 1995 crime-drama Heat, alongside veteran movie actors, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Val Kilmer. The actress plays the distraught stepdaughter of police lieutenant Vincent Hanna, played by Pacino. The film revolves around Hanna’s hunt for De Niro’s character, criminal Neil McCauley.

13 Dec, 1996

Mars Attacks!

Film Appearance

Portman plays Taffy Dale in the 1996 sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks! In the film, Martians have attacked the world and everyone must fight for their survival. The actress teams up with an all-star cast of Hollywood actors including Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, and more.

19 May, 1999

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Film Appearance

Portman plays Padmé Amidala in the first prequel to the Star Wars franchise. The film revolves around the life of young Anakin Skywalker, who in his later years would become Darth Vader. The actress also signs for the next two Star Wars installments:

It was much harder than I expected. We worked long days. We were in the desert a long time. And I had to wear not the greatest costumes. People have done harder things for money. But it wasn’t the breeze I thought it would be.

12 Nov, 1999

Anywhere but Here

Film Appearance

Portman plays Ann August in the 1999 drama Anywhere but Here, with fellow actress Susan Sarandon. The story is about Adele August, played by Sarandon, and the pursuit of her eccentric dreams. They leave their small Wisconsin town life and head towards Beverly Hills, but Ann does not share the same dream as her mother. On her character Ann:

She is the daughter of a very outgoing, kind of eccentric mother who isn’t very responsible and who doesn’t always act for her daughter’s best interests… She becomes a very serious, kind of mature person because of that.

28 Apr, 2000

Where the Heart Is

Film Appearance

Portman plays Novalee Nation in the 2000 drama Where the Heart Is. The actress co-stars the film with actress Ashley Judd, and tells a story about a pregnant young woman who is abandoned at a Wal-Mart by her boyfriend. The movie is based on the best-selling novel written by author Billie Letts. On her role:

They gave me different hairstyles, more mature makeup. When people physically buy that you’re older than you are, it helps a lot in your confidence and acting more mature.

25 Dec, 2003

Cold Mountain

Film Appearance

Portman plays Sara in the 2003 war drama Cold Mountain. She joins an all-star cast of actors that features Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, and Jude Law. The film is set during the Civil War, and tells a story about an injured confederate soldier, played by Law, trying to get back home to his family in Cold Mountain, North Carolina. Director Anthony Minghella’s thoughts of Portman:

She reminds me a little of Jodie Foster, because I can see her, as time goes on, wanting to spread her wings beyond acting. Her big brain wants to be fed.

20 Aug, 2004

Garden State

Film Appearance

Portman plays Sam in the 2004 comedy drama Garden State, a story about television actor Andrew Largeman, played by Zach Braff, and his return home to New Jersey from LA after the death of his mother.

I was really excited to do a movie that was about people, after doing something that was so big like Star Wars.

3 Dec, 2004


Film Appearance

Portman joins actor Jude Law once again in the 2004 drama Closer, along with Hollywood veterans Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. The film tells the story about two London couples and their participation in a dangerous game of love, lies and infidelity.

I just always choose things based on if it’s different from something I’ve done before. If it’s something challenging. If it’s something I think I might not be able to do.

16 Jan, 2005

Golden Globe

The actress wins her first Golden Globe award for “best supporting actress” for her performance in Closer. Other nominees in the category include Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, Virginia Madsen, and Meryl Streep.

Being among all these candidates, I had no expectation of this.

19 May, 2005

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Film Appearance

Portman plays Padmé Amidala for the third and final time in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In the third installment of the Star Wars prequel series, director George Lucas concludes the inevitable story of how Anakin Skywalker transforms into Darth Vader. On working with George Lucas:

George has done an amazing job. He has great core values, and despite his money and success, he’s still in his jeans and sneakers everyday on set talking to everyone and is very down to earth.

17 Mar, 2006

V for Vendetta

Film Appearance

Portman plays Evey in the 2006 sci-fi action film V for Vendetta. Set the future of a fascist Britain, this film tells the story of a masked freedom fighter by the name of V, played by Hugo Weaving. Though the oppressive British government thinks of V as a terrorist, the revolution V has planned is devoted to the people. The actress shaves her head for her role while director James McTeigue uses three cameras to capture the haircut in one take.

James the director gave me the graphic novel when he offered me the role so I read it immediately. It was such a great resource to have. It’s almost like a storyboard for the movie.

7 Apr, 2006


Film Appearance

Portman plays Rebecca in the 2006 comedy drama Freezone. The film tells the story of three strangers, their individual troubles, and the comfort they share amongst each other as their lives intersect.

It’s been really, really amazing to get to work here and see new places, and meet all the people in the crew. It’s been a very, very different experience than anything I’ve ever done.

26 Oct, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

Film Appearance

Portman makes an appearance in the 2007 adventure comedy The Darjeeling Limited. Directed by Wes Anderson, the film tells the story of three brothers who travel across India after the death of their father, to reunite with their mother.

16 Nov, 2007

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Film Appearance

Portman plays Molly Mahoney, the Composer, in the  family comedy Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Starring Dustin Hoffman as nutty toy shop owner Edward Magorioum, the film revolves around his magically enchanted toy shop, nutty staff and their many colorful adventures.

It was an amazing thing to be a part of…. it’s a kid’s movie but it’s also something as an adult, it really reawakens this excitement about everything. Finding magic in any everyday object.

29 Feb, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

Film Appearance

Portman plays Anne Boleyn in the 2008 period drama The Other Boleyn Girl, alongside Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana. In the film, the Boleyn family conspire to have one of their daughters produce a son with King Henry VIII. Despite her sister being favored over her by the King, Anne pursues her goal of securing a position in the royal court through betrayal, deceit, and seduction. On her costume:

It’s real misery to put it on after you’ve had it off…They were incredibly helpful for the characters.

16 Oct, 2009

New York, I Love You

Film Appearance

Portman plays Rifka in the 2009 romantic-comedy anthology New York, I Love You. The film consists of 11 short films and features an all-star cast with some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as: Bradley Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Andy Garcia, and Orlando Bloom. Set in New York City, each short portrays love and romance in its own individual way.

4 Dec, 2009


Film Appearance

Portman plays Grace Cahill in the war drama Brothers, alongside Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal. After being a prisoner of war, Capt. Sam Cahill returns home a different person. He is withdrawn and is convinced his brother and wife had a relationship during his absence.

It’s such a family story… It’s definitely something that people can relate to…

17 Dec, 2010

Black Swan

Film Appearance

Portman plays Nina Sayers/The Swan Queen, in the 2010 drama Black Swan. The film depicts the life of a young New York ballerina, her controlling mother, and the pressures of her industry. Nina tries to make sense of things as she is consumed in a life full with jealousy, lust, and rivalry.

It was about a year of ballet preparation that sort of ramped up as the film got closer. It started out for a couple of hours a day, then five hours a day, then more like eight hours and it was very intense but really fun, too.

17 Jan, 2011

Golden Globe

The actress wins her first Golden Globe Award for her role as Nina Sayers/The Swan Queen in Black Swan. She wins the award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” over fellow nominees: Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michelle Williams. Upon accepting her award:

This is such a great honor, truly the most wonderful experience of the worldwide reaction to this movie is to be with the people in this room.

21 Jan, 2011

No Strings Attached

Film Appearance

Portman plays Emma, opposite actor Ashton Kutcher in this romantic comedy, the story of two L.A. friends that are in a strictly “friends with benefits” relationship. No romance, no complications, just sex.

It’s a big honor to have people be excited about a movie that you make. That’s the one thing that you want, is for an audience to connect to what you make

25 Jan, 2011

Oscar nomination

Portman is nominated for Best Actress at the 83rd Academy Awards for portraying the dual role of Nina Sayers and The Swan Queen in Black Swan.

I am so honored and grateful to the Academy for this recognition. It is a wonderful culmination of the ten-year journey with Darren to make this film. Making Black Swan is already the most meaningful experience of my career, and the passion shown for the film has completed the process of communication between artists and audience. I am so thankful for the support we have received and I share this honor with the entire cast and crew of the film, especially Darren Aronofsky.

27 Feb, 2011



The actress wins her first Academy Award for her portrayal of Nina Sayers/The Swan Queen in the 2010 drama Black Swan.  She wins the award over fellow nominees: Annete Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michelle Williams.

I want to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to work from such an early age. My beautiful love, Benjamin, who has now given me my most important role of my life

8 Apr, 2011

Your Highness

Film Appearance

Portman plays Isabel in an adventure comedy that revolves around two princes, clumsy Thadeous, played by Danny McBride, and his heroic brother Fabious, played by James Franco. The two set out on a quest to save Fabious’ fiancée and the kingdom.

I think that they will be very surprised and entertained by Your Highness. It’s a very unusual and extremely funny movie.

6 May, 2011


Film Appearance

Portman plays Jane Foster in the 2011 film adaptation of the comic book hero. A young and arrogant Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, has much to learn before he can become the King of Asgard. Banished to Earth by his father Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins, Thor begins to realize the true responsibility of power. On working with Hopkins:

I was completely intimidated… I kept messing up lines around him because I was so nervous, and he was so sweet about it. He made me feel at ease.

16 May, 2012

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Film Appearance

Portman reprises her role as Padmé Amidala in the second installment of the Star Wars prequel series. Episode II takes place a decade after the previous The Phantom Menace. An assassination attempt has been made on Senator Amidala, and a now matured Anakin is assigned to protect her. On her Star Wars fame:

I really wasn’t aware of how big a deal ‘Star Wars’ was… and when I saw the films, I really liked them, but I still didn’t really understand how many … were passionate fans of this film.

4 Aug, 2012

Portman, Millepied marry


Portman weddingAfter a two-year engagement, the actress marries French dancer Benjamin Millepied in a Jewish ceremony in Big Sur, California. Among the guests are friends Ivanka Trump and Macaulay Culkin. The couple met on the set of Black Swan where Millipied choreographed the ballet sequences.

Being with a Frenchman, I can now obtain French nationality, which wasn’t an option for me. It would be the fulfillment of our Francophile dreams, my father and myself.

8 Nov, 2013

Thor: The Dark World

Film Appearance

Portman reprises her role as Jane Foster in the second installment of the Thor franchise in Thor: The Dark World. Picking up two years after saving Earth from destruction, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, must now protect Asgard from a more treacherous evil. With his new role as King, and the aid of his deceitful brother Loki, the god of thunder must do everything he can to save the world he loves.

It was exciting to get to come back and work with everyone, and meet people who were joining this time and also, because Jane gets to go to Asgard this time.

20 Nov, 2014

‘He saved me again and again’

Portman pays tribute to the late Nichols, who directed her in The Seagull and Closer.

There’s nothing good enough I can write that would do Mike justice. He was the one who had the best words, the right hug for hard times, the funny comment to diffuse your pain. He saved me again and again. He was the best way to be a person and an artist. And the most, most fun. I send my deepest love to Diane, Jenny, Max, Daisy and their children, who filled his days with light.

7 May, 2015

Hollywood Reporter cover

Magazine Cover

Portman_Cover_EmbedPortman is interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and appears on the cover: On Netanyahu:

I’m very much against Netanyahu. Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected. I find his racist comments horrific. However, I don’t — what I want to make sure is, I don’t want to use my platform [the wrong way]. I feel like there’s some people who become prominent, and then it’s out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel. I do not. I don’t want to do that.

On Ramsey leaving Jane Got a Gun,  just days before the shoot:

I’m as mystified as I think everyone was, and it was pretty devastating. I mean, maybe she’ll speak to it one day. I don’t know. I got there one week before we were supposed to start, in Santa Fe, and it seemed like there had been stuff going on that I had sort of been sheltered from. And yeah, it was really, really difficult, and we were lucky that [director] Gavin [O’Connor] came on so quickly. She didn’t come on [set]. I saw her like the week before, but on the first day, no. I can only imagine something very difficult was going on for her, and it was devastating.

On married life:

The disappointments are always in myself, and like, when you’re faced day to day with someone looking at you, it’s like a mirror that you have to yourself, and you can see your own good behavior and bad behavior. And it’s a beautiful challenge to be the best person in the mirror that you can be. I mean, I don’t beat myself up over it, but I’m not always as generous as I feel like I could be.

14 May, 2015

Stars as Jackie


During a Cannes Music Festival appearance, Variety reports that Portman will star as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie, about the first four days of the first lady’s life after the assassination of her husband, President John. F. Kennedy. Aronofsky will produce the film.

15 Jun, 2015

Ginsburg: Portman wants female director

Makes Statement

Ginsburg reveals that producing her biopic was delayed because Portman has been holding out for a female director.

Natalie Portman came to talk to me about [the film landing a female director], and we had a very good conversation. And one thing, interesting, that she insisted on, it held up the project for a while. She said, ‘I want the director to be a woman. There are not enough women in this industry. There are many talented out there.’ And now they do have a woman director.

Marielle Heller (Diary of a Teenage Girl) is in talks to direct the film.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Natalie Portman, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more