Natalie Portman (born Natalie Hershlag, 9.6.1981)
Natalie Portman is an Israeli - American actress, who first came into the public eye with her role as a child actress in Léon.
Natalie Portman: Childhood
Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Avner Hershlag, her Israeli father, is a doctor and her American mother, Shelley Stevens, is now Natalie's agent.
When Natalie was three years old, the family moved to the United States, from Israel and her father continued his medical training there. Whilst the family resided in Washington, D.C., Natalie attended Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. However, the family relocated briefly to Connecticut and then settles in Long Island, New York when their daughter was nine.
Natalie Portman famously missed the premiere showing of Star Wars: Episode I in order to study for her exams, to graduate from Syosset High School. She later studied at Harvard College and graduated with a psychology degree.
Natalie Portman: Acting Career
Natalie Portman took up dance classes aged four years old. When she was 10, she was invited to become a child model, by an agent of Revlon. However, Natalie turned down the offer because she wanted to concentrate on dancing and acting.
At the age of 13, Natalie Portman auditioned for the role of the young girl in Léon and got the role, starring in the film alongside Jean Reno and Gary Oldman.
Amongst her smaller roles of the 1990s, Natalie Portman appeared in Everyone Says I Love You, Mars Attacks! and Heat. The producers of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet turned her down for the role of Juliet, arguing that she was too young.
Portman starred as Anne Frank in the Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank in 1997. In 1999, she also appeared in Anywhere But Here. She initially turned down the offer of the role, as the script contained a sex scene for her character Ann August. However, Susan Sarandon demanded a re-write of the script. Portman was eventually nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the film.
Natalie Portman's biggest break came when she was cast as Padmé Amidala in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the first in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Following on from this, she starred in the romantic drama Where The Heart Is, before continuing her education at Harvard University. The filming of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones took place in Portman's summer holiday in 2000. The next year, she starred alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a New York City Public Theatre production of Chekhov's The Seagull.
In 2004, Natalie Portman featured in Garden State, opposite Zach Braff, who is famous for his role in the sitcom Scrubs. She also appeared in another independent film, Closer, which won her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, as well as an Oscar nomination for the same title.
The final installment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released in 2005. Natalie Portman attended the premieres for the film with a shaved head. She had had to shave her hair off for her role in the adaptation of Alan Moore's V for Vendetta.
In 2005, Milos Forman cast Natalie Portman in Goya's Ghosts without having seen her work, on the basis that she looked like a Goya painting. The next year, she portrayed Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl, alongside Eric Bana and Scarlett Johansson.
In 2007, Natalie Portman could be seen in the children's movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, opposite Robin Williams.
Natalie Portman lent her voice to the character of Darcy, Bart Simpson's first girlfriend, in the 18th series of The Simpsons.
Portman's first nude scene came when she starred in Wes Anderson's Hotel Chevalier, alongside Jason Schwartzman.
Natalie Portman: Personal Life
Natalie Portman has been romantically linked with a number of male actors, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Gael Garcia Bernal and the musician Adam Levine. She also started dating Devendra Banhart after appearing in the video for 'Carmencita.'
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