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Natalie Portman

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Natalie Portman
Photo of Natalie Portman
Portman at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Born
Natalie Hershlag

(1981-06-09) June 9, 1981 (age 41)[1]
Citizenship
  • Israel
  • United States
Alma materHarvard University (AB)
Occupations
  • Actress
  • director
  • producer
Years active1993–present
WorksFull list
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse
(m. 2012)
Children2
AwardsFull list
Signature
Cursive signature in ink

Natalie Portman (born Natalie Hershlag,[2] Hebrew: נטע-לי הרשלג,[a][5][7] (1981-06-09)June 9, 1981) is an Israeli-born American actress. She has had a prolific film career since her teenage years and has starred in various blockbusters and independent films, receiving multiple accolades, including an Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.

Portman began her acting career at age twelve, when she starred as the young protégée of a hitman in the action film Léon: The Professional (1994). While in high school, she made her Broadway debut in a 1998 production of The Diary of a Young Girl and gained international recognition for starring as Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). From 1999 to 2003, Portman attended Harvard University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She reduced her number of acting roles, but continued to act in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (2002, 2005) and in The Public Theater's 2001 revival of Anton Chekhov's play The Seagull.

In 2004, Portman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won a Golden Globe Award for playing a mysterious stripper in the romantic drama Closer. Portman's career further advanced with her starring roles as Evey Hammond in V for Vendetta (2005), Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), and a troubled ballerina in the psychological horror film Black Swan (2010), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She went on to star in the romantic comedy No Strings Attached (2011) and portrayed Jacqueline Kennedy in the biopic Jackie (2016), which earned her a third Academy Award nomination. Portman has also featured as Jane Foster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), which established her as one of the world's highest-paid actresses.

Portman's directorial ventures include the short film Eve (2008) and the biographical drama A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015). She is vocal about the politics of the United States and Israel, and is an advocate for animal rights and environmental causes. She is married to dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, with whom she has two children.

Discover more about Natalie Portman related topics

Golden Globe Awards

Golden Globe Awards

The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association starting in January 1944, recognizing excellence in both American and international film and television. Beginning in 2022, there are 105 members of the HFPA.

Broadway theatre

Broadway theatre

Broadway theatre, or Broadway, are the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and the Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Broadway and London's West End together represent the highest commercial level of live theater in the English-speaking world.

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov was a physician by profession. "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to honor an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role while working within the film industry. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Supporting Actor winner.

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

The Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture is a Golden Globe Award that was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 1944 for a performance in a motion picture released in the previous year.

Evey Hammond

Evey Hammond

Evey Hammond is a fictional character and the protagonist of the comic book series V for Vendetta, created by Alan Moore, David Lloyd, and Tony Weare. She becomes involved in V's life when he rescues her from a gang of London's secret police, ultimately succeeding him as V.

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536, as the second wife of King Henry VIII. The circumstances of her marriage and of her execution by beheading for treason and other charges made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that marked the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Elizabeth Howard, and was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honour to Queen Claude of France. Anne returned to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; the marriage plans were broken off, and instead, she secured a post at court as maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Black Swan (film)

Black Swan (film)

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky from a screenplay by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on a story by Heinz. The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder, and revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by the New York City Ballet company. The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina Sayers (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new rival Lily (Kunis). Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the role, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into madness.

Academy Award for Best Actress

Academy Award for Best Actress

The Academy Award For Best Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role in a film released that year. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actor winner.

Eve (2008 film)

Eve (2008 film)

Eve is a 2008 American romantic comedy short film written and directed by Natalie Portman, starring Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara and Olivia Thirlby. The film was produced by her production company Handsomecharlie Films and distributed by Relativity Media.

A Tale of Love and Darkness (film)

A Tale of Love and Darkness (film)

A Tale of Love and Darkness is a 2015 drama film written and directed by Natalie Portman in her directorial feature debut. Based on the memoir of the same name by Israeli author Amos Oz, it takes place in Jerusalem in the last years of Mandatory Palestine and the first years of independent Israel. It stars Amir Tessler as Oz, and Gilad Kahana and Portman as his parents. It was screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Benjamin Millepied

Benjamin Millepied

Benjamin Millepied is a French dancer and choreographer, who has lived and worked in the United States since joining the New York City Ballet in 1995, where he became a soloist in 1998 and a principal in 2002. He has also created choreography for the company, and choreographed pieces for other major companies. He retired from the NYCB in 2011.

Early life and background

Natalie Hershlag[5] was born on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, to Jewish parents with roots in Poland, Austria, and Russia.[1][6][8][9][10] She is the only child of Shelley (née Stevens),[11] an American homemaker who works as Portman's agent, and Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born gynecologist.[12] Her maternal grandparents were American Jews, whereas her paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants to Israel.[13][8][14]

Portman and her family first lived in Washington, D.C., but relocated to Connecticut in 1988 and then moved to Long Island[15] in 1990.[16][17] While living in Washington Portman attended Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland.[8] Her native language is Hebrew.[6] While living on Long Island, she attended a Jewish elementary school, the Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County.[15] She studied ballet and modern dance at the American Theater Dance Workshop, and regularly attended the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.[15] Describing her early life, Portman has 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."[18]

When Portman was ten years old, a Revlon agent spotted her at a pizza restaurant and asked her to become a child model.[19] She turned down the offer but used the opportunity to get an acting agent.[20][21] She auditioned for the 1992 off-Broadway Ruthless!, a musical about a girl who is prepared to commit murder to get the lead in a school play.[22] Portman and Britney Spears were chosen as understudies for star Laura Bell Bundy.[23]

Discover more about Early life and background related topics

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a city in Western Asia. Situated on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, it is one of the oldest cities in the world and is considered to be a holy city for the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power. Because of this dispute, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

American Jews

American Jews

American Jews or Jewish Americans are American citizens who are Jewish, whether by culture, ethnicity, or religion. Today the Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90–95% of the American Jewish population.

Aliyah

Aliyah

Aliyah is the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to, historically, the geographical Land of Israel, which is in the modern era chiefly represented by the State of Israel. Traditionally described as "the act of going up", moving to the Land of Israel or "making aliyah" is one of the most basic tenets of Zionism. The opposite action—emigration by Jews from the Land of Israel—is referred to in the Hebrew language as yerida. The Law of Return that was passed by the Israeli parliament in 1950 gives all diaspora Jews, as well as their children and grandchildren, the right to relocate to Israel and acquire Israeli citizenship on the basis of connecting to their Jewish identity.

Israel

Israel

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the Southern Levant, it is bordered by Lebanon to the north, by Syria to the northeast, by Jordan to the east, by the Red Sea to the south, by Egypt to the southwest, by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and by the Palestinian territories — the West Bank along the east and the Gaza Strip along the southwest. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, although Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.

Connecticut

Connecticut

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. As of the 2020 United States census, Connecticut was home to over 3.6 million residents, its highest decennial count count ever, growing every decade since 1790. The state is bordered by Rhode Island to its east, Massachusetts to its north, New York to its west, and Long Island Sound to its south. Its capital is Hartford, and its most populous city is Bridgeport. Historically, the state is part of New England as well as the tri-state area with New York and New Jersey. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of "Quinnetuket”, a Mohegan-Pequot word for "long tidal river".

Long Island

Long Island

Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of New York, part of the New York metropolitan area. With over 8 million people, Long Island is the most populous island in the United States and the 18th-most populous in the world. The island begins at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) east of Manhattan Island and extends eastward about 118 miles (190 km) into the Atlantic Ocean, with a maximum north-to-south width of 23 miles (37 km) between Long Island Sound and the Atlantic coast. With a land area of 1,401 square miles (3,630 km2), Long Island is the 11th-largest island in the United States, the largest island in the contiguous United States, and the 149th-largest island in the world.

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, often referred to as CESJDS or JDS, is a private, pluralistic Jewish JK-12 school located in two campuses in North Bethesda, Maryland, United States. Founded in 1966, the school's namesake is Charles E. Smith, a local Jewish philanthropist and real estate magnate.

Rockville, Maryland

Rockville, Maryland

Rockville is a city that serves as the county seat of Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, and is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. The 2020 census tabulated Rockville's population at 67,117, making it the fifth-largest community in Montgomery County.

Revlon

Revlon

Revlon, Inc. is an American multinational company dealing in cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, and personal care. The headquarters of Revlon was established in New York City on March 1, 1932, where it still remains. Revlon was founded by brothers Charles and Joseph Revson, and chemist Charles Lachman. Revlon products are sold in 150 countries and the company has many global locations including Mexico City, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Sydney, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Off-Broadway

Off-Broadway

An off-Broadway theatre is any professional theatre venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, inclusive. These theatres are smaller than Broadway theatres, but larger than off-off-Broadway theatres, which seat fewer than 100.

Ruthless!

Ruthless!

Ruthless! The Musical is an all-female musical with music by Marvin Laird and book and lyrics by Joel Paley that spoofs Broadway musicals, like Gypsy and Mame, and movies such as The Bad Seed and All About Eve. The musical premiered Off-Broadway in 1992.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

Britney Jean Spears is an American singer and dancer. Often referred to as the "Princess of Pop", she is credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s and early 2000s. After appearing in stage productions and television series, Spears signed with Jive Records in 1997 at age fifteen. Her first two studio albums, ...Baby One More Time (1999) and Oops!... I Did It Again (2000), are among the best-selling albums of all time and made Spears the best-selling teenage artist of all time. With first-week sales of over 1.3 million copies, Oops!... I Did It Again held the record for the fastest-selling album by a female artist in the United States for fifteen years. Spears adopted a more mature and provocative style for her albums Britney (2001) and In the Zone (2003), and starred in the 2002 film Crossroads.

Career

1994–1998: Early work

Six months after Ruthless! ended, Portman auditioned for and secured a leading role in Luc Besson's action drama Léon: The Professional (1994).[21] To protect her privacy, she adopted her paternal grandmother's maiden name, Portman, as her stage name.[24][25] She played Mathilda, an orphan child who befriends a middle-aged hitman (played by Jean Reno). Her parents were reluctant to let her do the part due to the explicit sexual and violent nature of the script, but agreed after Besson took out the nudity and the killings committed by Portman's character.[26] Portman herself said that after those scenes were removed, she found nothing objectionable about the content.[27] Even so, her mother was displeased with some of the "sexual twists and turns" in the finished film, which were not part of the script.[19] Hal Hinson of The Washington Post commended Portman for bringing a "genuine sense of tragedy" to her part, but Peter Rainer of the Los Angeles Times believed that she wasn't "enough of an actress to unfold Mathilda's pain" and criticized Besson's sexualization of her character.[28][29]

"[T]here's a surprising preponderance of that kind of role for young girls. Sort of being fantasy objects for men, and especially this idealised purity combined with the fertility of youth, and all this in one. ... It was definitely interesting to think about – why men write the female characters they do. Just like the way they write the male character. How much is wish-fulfilment fantasy, and why."

—Portman on playing sexualized youngsters as a child, 2007[30]

After filming The Professional, Portman went back to school and during the summer break of 1994, she filmed a part in Marya Cohn's short film Developing. In it she played a young girl coping with her mother's (played by Frances Conroy) cancer.[31] She also enrolled at the Stagedoor Manor performing arts camp, where she played Anne Shirley in a staging of Anne of Green Gables.[32] Michael Mann offered her the small part of the suicidal stepdaughter of Al Pacino's character in the action film Heat (1995) for her ability to portray dysfunction without hysteria.[33][34] Impressed by her performance in The Professional, the director Ted Demme cast her as a precocious teenager who flirts with her much-older neighbor (played by Timothy Hutton) in the ensemble comedy-drama Beautiful Girls (1996).[27] Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, "Portman, a budding knockout, is scene-stealingly good even in an overly showy role."[35] She subsequently went back to Stagedoor Manor to appear in a production of the musical Cabaret.[36] Also in 1996, Portman had brief roles in Woody Allen's musical Everyone Says I Love You and Tim Burton's comic science fiction film Mars Attacks!.[37]

Portman was cast opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996), but she dropped out during rehearsals when studio executives found her too young for the role.[19] Luhrmann said "Natalie was amazing in the footage, but it was too much of a burden for her at that age".[38] She was also offered Adrian Lyne's Lolita, based on the novel of the same name, but she turned down the part due to its excessive sexual content.[19][27] She later bemoaned that her parts in The Professional and Beautiful Girls prompted a series of offers to play a sexualized youngster, adding that it "dictated a lot of my choices afterwards 'cos it scared me ... it made me reluctant to do sexy stuff".[30] Portman instead signed on to star as Anne Frank in a Broadway adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank, which was staged at the Music Box Theatre from December 1997 to May 1998. In preparation, she twice visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and interacted with Miep Gies, who had preserved Anne's diary after the family was captured; she found a connection with Frank's story, given her own family's history with the Holocaust.[39][40] Reviewing the production for Variety, Greg Evans disliked her portrayal, which he thought had "little of the charm, budding genius or even brittle intelligence that the diary itself reveals".[41] Conversely, Ben Brantley found an "ineffable grace in her awkwardness".[42] The experience of performing the play was emotionally draining for her, as she attended high school during the day and performed at night; she wrote personal essays in Time and Seventeen magazines about her experience.[43]

1999–2006: Star Wars, education, and transition to adult roles

Portman's costume from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts
Portman's costume from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Portman began filming the part of Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy in 1997, which marked her first big-budget production. The first film of the series, Episode I – The Phantom Menace was released in 1999, when she was in her senior year of high school.[44] Portman was unfamiliar with the franchise when she was cast, and watched the original Star Wars trilogy before filming began.[45] She worked closely with the director George Lucas on her character's accent and mannerisms, and watched the films of Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, and Katharine Hepburn to draw inspiration from their voice and stature.[46] Filming in arduous locations in Algeria proved challenging for Portman.[47][21] She did not attend the film's premiere so she could study for her high school finals.[48] Critics disliked the film but with earnings of $924 million worldwide it was the second highest-grossing film of all time to that point, and it established Portman as a global star.[49][50]

Portman graduated from Syosset High School in 1999.[51][52][53] Her high school paper, "A Simple Method to Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar", co-authored with scientists Ian Hurley and Jonathan Woodward, was entered in the Intel Science Talent Search.[54] Following production on The Phantom Menace, Portman initially turned down a lead role in the coming-of-age film Anywhere but Here (1999) after learning it would involve a sex scene, but the director Wayne Wang and actress Susan Sarandon (who played Portman's mother in the film) demanded a rewrite of the script. She was shown a new draft, and decided to accept the part.[16][55] Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon called Portman's performance "astonishing" and added that "unlike any number of actresses her age, she's neither too maudlin nor too plucky".[56] She received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination for it.[57]

Portman's sole screen appearance in 2000 was in Where the Heart Is, a romantic drama filmed in Texas, in which she played a pregnant teenager.[58] After finishing work on the film, she began attending Harvard University to pursue her bachelor's degree in psychology, and significantly reduced her acting roles over the next few years.[16] She studied advanced Hebrew literature and neurobiology,[59] and she served as Alan Dershowitz's research assistant.[20][60] In the summer of 2001, she returned to Broadway (at the Delacorte Theater) to perform Chekhov's drama The Seagull, which was directed by Mike Nichols and co-starred Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.[61] Linda Winer of Newsday wrote that the "major surprises come from Portman, whose Nina transforms with astonishing lyricism from the girl with ambition to Chekhov's most difficult symbol of destruction".[62] Also in 2001, Portman was among several celebrities who made cameo appearances in the comedy Zoolander.[63] The following year she reprised her role of Amidala in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, which she had filmed in Sydney and London during her summer break of 2000.[64] She was excited by the opportunity to play a confident young woman who did not depend on the male lead.[65] When asked about balancing her career and education, she said, "I don't care if [college] ruins my career. I'd rather be smart than a movie star."[66][67] In 2002, she contributed to a study on memory called "Frontal lobe activation during object permanence: data from near-infrared spectroscopy".[68][69] Portman graduated from Harvard in 2003 and her sole screen appearance that year was in the brief part of a young mother in the war film Cold Mountain.[16][70][71]

Portman on the set of Free Zone in 2005
Portman on the set of Free Zone in 2005

Portman began 2004 by featuring in the romantic comedy Garden State, which was written and directed by its star Zach Braff. She was the first actor to sign on to the film after finding a connection with her part: a spirited young girl suffering from epilepsy.[17][72] Her role in it was described by Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club. as a prime example of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character type – a stereotypical female role designed to spiritually help a male protagonist.[73] Portman later said she found it upsetting to have contributed to the trope.[74] She followed it by playing a mysterious stripper in Closer, a romantic drama directed by Mike Nichols based on the play of the same name, and co-starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, and Clive Owen. Portman agreed to her first sexually explicit adult role after turning down such parts in the past, saying it reflected her own maturity as a person.[17][75] She had also performed her first nude scenes for the film, but they were deleted from the final cut when she insisted that they were inessential to the story.[75] Closer grossed over $115 million worldwide against a $27 million budget, and the critic Peter Travers took note of Portman's "blazing, breakthrough performance", writing that she "digs so deep into the bruised core of her character that they seem to wear the same skin."[76][77] She won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and received an Academy Award nomination in the same category.[78][79]

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the final installment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, was Portman's first film release of 2005. It earned over $848 million to rank as the second-highest-grossing film of the year.[80] She next played a Jewish-American girl in Free Zone, a drama from Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai. To prepare, she studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and read memoirs of Yitzhak Rabin, which she said allowed her to explore both the role and her own heritage.[75][23] Controversy arose when she filmed a kissing scene at the Western Wall, where gender segregation is enforced, and she later issued an apology.[81] Critics disliked the film for its heavy-handed approach to the conflicts in the Middle East.[82] Portman's final film role in 2005 was that of Evey Hammond in the political thriller V for Vendetta, based on the comics of the same name, about an alternative future where a neo-fascist regime has subjugated the United Kingdom. She was drawn to the provocative nature of the script, and worked with a dialect coach to speak in an English accent. In a scene in which her character is tortured, her head was shaved on camera; she considered it an opportunity to rid herself of vanity.[83] Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle deemed it Portman's strongest performance to that point, and remarked that she "keeps you focused on her words and actions instead of her bald head."[84] She was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Actress.[85]

Portman began 2006 by hosting an episode of the television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.[86] One of her sketches, a song named "Natalie's Rap", was released later in 2009 on Incredibad, an album by the Lonely Island.[87] In the anthology film Paris, je t'aime, consisting of eighteen short films, she had a role in the segment named "Faubourg Saint-Denis" from director Tom Tykwer.[88] Later that year, she starred in Miloš Forman's Goya's Ghosts, about the painter Francisco Goya. Forman cast her in the film after finding a resemblance between her and Goya's portrait The Milkmaid of Bordeaux.[89] She insisted on using a body double for her nude scenes after discovering on set that she had to perform them when they were not originally in the script.[90] It received predominantly negative reviews, but Roger Ebert was appreciative of Portman for playing her dual role "with fearless conviction".[91][92]

2007–2015: Career expansion and Black Swan

Portman at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, where she served as a jury member
Portman at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, where she served as a jury member

Portman began 2007 by replacing Jodie Foster in Wong Kar-wai's romantic drama My Blueberry Nights, which was his first English-language film. For her role as a gambler, she trained with a poker coach.[93] Richard Corliss of Time magazine believed that "for once she's not playing a waif or a child princess but a mature, full-bodied woman" and commended her "vibrancy, grittiness and ache, all performed with a virtuosa's easy assurance".[94] Her next appearance was in Hotel Chevalier, a short film from Wes Anderson, which served as a prologue to his feature The Darjeeling Limited (in which Portman had a cameo).[95] In the short, she and Jason Schwartzman play former lovers who reunite in a Paris hotel room. For the first time, Portman performed an extended nude scene; she was later disappointed at the undue focus on it and she subsequently swore off appearing nude again.[90][96] Keen to work in different genres, Portman accepted a role in the children's film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, playing an employee of a magical toy store.[97] She also appeared in Paul McCartney's music video "Dance Tonight" from his album Memory Almost Full, directed by Michel Gondry.[98]

Scarlett Johansson and Portman portrayed rival sisters Mary and Anne Boleyn, respectively, in the period film The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). She was excited by the opportunity to work opposite another actress her age, bemoaning that such casting was rare in film.[99] Derek Elley of Variety was critical of Portman's English accent and wrote that she "doesn't quite bring the necessary heft to make Anne a truly dominant power player".[100] The film had modest box-office earnings.[101] She served as a jury member of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and also launched her own production company, named handsomecharlie films, after her late dog.[93][102] Portman's directorial debut, the short film Eve, opened the short-film screenings at the 65th Venice International Film Festival.[103] It is about a young woman who goes to her grandmother's romantic date, and Portman drew inspiration for the older character (played by Lauren Bacall) from her own grandmother.[104]

A poorly received adaptation of Ayelet Waldman's novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, entitled The Other Woman, marked Portman's first film role of 2009.[105] She appeared in a faux perfume commercial called Greed, directed by Roman Polanski, and in the anthology film New York, I Love You, she directed a segment and also starred in a different segment directed by Mira Nair.[106][107] Portman next took on a role opposite Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal in the drama film Brothers, a remake of the 2004 Danish film of the same name. Her role was that of a war widow, for which she spoke with military wives to prepare. The film was shot during the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike, and Portman found it challenging to shoot certain scenes without a written script.[108] Claudia Puig of USA Today found her to be "subdued and reactive in a part that doesn't call for her to do much else".[109]

After producing and co-starring alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the black comedy Hesher (2010),[110] Portman played a ballerina overwhelmed with the prospect of performing Swan Lake in Darren Aronofsky's psychological horror film Black Swan. She was trained by the professional ballerina Mary Helen Bowers, and in preparation, she trained for five to eight hours daily for six months and lost 20 pounds (9 kg).[111][112][113] Her performance was acclaimed;[114] writing for Empire, Dan Jolin found her to be "simultaneously at her most vulnerable and her most predatory, at once frostily brittle and raunchily malleable [...] before peaking at the film's denouement with a raw, alluring showstopper of a performance."[115] Black Swan emerged as a sleeper hit, grossing over $329 million worldwide against a $13 million budget, and earned Portman several prizes including the Academy Award for Best Actress.[116][117][118] Following her Oscar win, controversy arose over who performed the bulk of the on-screen dancing in the film.[119] Sarah Lane, one of Portman's dancing doubles in the film, claimed that the actress performed only about five percent of the full-body shots, adding that she was asked by the film's producers not to speak publicly about it during awards season.[120] Aronofsky defended Portman by insisting that she had performed 80 percent of the on-screen dancing.[120]

Portman at the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011, where she won the Academy Award for Best Actress
Portman at the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011, where she won the Academy Award for Best Actress

Portman next served as an executive producer for No Strings Attached (2011), a romantic comedy in which she starred with Ashton Kutcher as a young couple in a casual sex relationship. She described the experience of making it as a "palate cleanser" from the intensity of Black Swan.[121] It received unfavorable reviews but was a commercial success.[122][123] She next agreed to the film Your Highness for the opportunity of playing an athletic and foul-mouthed character, which she believed was rare for actresses.[124] Critics were dismissive of the film's reliance on scatological humor and it proved to be a box-office bomb.[125][126] In her final film release of 2011, Portman took on the part of Jane Foster, a scientist and love-interest of the titular character (played by Chris Hemsworth) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Thor. She liked the idea of Kenneth Branagh directing a big-budget film that emphasized character; she signed on to it before receiving a script, and helped develop her part by reading the biography of scientists such as Rosalind Franklin.[127][128][129] Richard Kuipers of Variety commended Portman's "sterling work in a thinly written role" for adding dimension to the film's romantic subplot.[130] Thor earned $449.3 million worldwide to emerge as the 15th highest-grossing film of 2011.[131]

In 2012, Portman topped Forbes' listing of the most bankable stars in Hollywood.[132] Her sole screen appearance that year was in Paul McCartney's music video "My Valentine", alongside Johnny Depp.[133] The following year, she reprised the role of Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World, which earned over $644 million worldwide to emerge as the 10th highest-grossing film of 2013.[134] Forbes featured her in their Celebrity 100 listing of 2014, and estimated her income from the previous year to be $13 million.[135]

In 2015, Portman appeared alongside an ensemble cast, including Christian Bale, in Terrence Malick's experimental drama film Knight of Cups, which marked her first project after giving birth. She shot for it within a week of returning to work and she did not receive a traditional script or dialogues, improvising most of her scenes with Bale.[136][137] She said that shooting with Malick influenced her own directorial venture, A Tale of Love and Darkness which was released in the same year.[136] Based on Israeli author Amos Oz's autobiographical novel of the same name which is set in Jerusalem during the last years of the British Mandate of Palestine, the Hebrew-language film starred Portman who also produced and co-wrote it.[138][139] She had wanted to adapt the book since she first read it a decade ago, but postponed it until she was old enough to play the leading role of a mother herself. She collaborated closely with Amos, showing him drafts of her script as she adapted the book.[140][141] A. O. Scott of The New York Times found it to be a "conscientious adaptation of a difficult book" and was appreciative of Portman's potential as a filmmaker.[142] She next produced and starred in the western film Jane Got a Gun about a young mother seeking vengeance. Initially scheduled to be directed by Lynne Ramsay, the production was plagued with numerous difficulties. Ramsay did not turn up on set for the first day of filming and was eventually replaced with Gavin O'Connor. Michael Fassbender, Jude Law, and Bradley Cooper were all cast as the male lead, before Ewan McGregor played the part.[143] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian reviewed that Portman's "stately performance" was not enough to save the "laborious and solemn western", and it grossed less than $4 million against its $25 million budget.[144][145]

2016–present: Jackie and beyond

Portman attending the premiere of Planetarium at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival
Portman attending the premiere of Planetarium at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival

Portman portrayed Jacqueline Kennedy in the Pablo Larraín-directed biopic Jackie (2016), about Kennedy's life immediately after the 1963 assassination of her husband. She was initially intimidated to take on the part of a well-known public figure,[146] and eventually researched Kennedy extensively by watching videos of her, reading books, and listening to audiotapes of her interviews.[147][148] She also worked with a dialect coach to adopt Kennedy's unique speaking style.[149] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter termed it an "incandescent performance" and added that "her Jackie is both inscrutable and naked, broken but unquestionably resilient, a mess and yet fiercely dignified".[150] She won the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.[151][152] She also served as producer for the comedy horror film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, directed by Burr Steers, and starred in Rebecca Zlotowski's French-Belgian drama Planetarium.[153][154] The 2017 experimental romance Song to Song marked Portman's second collaboration with Terrence Malick, which like their previous film polarized critics.[155][156]

In 2018, Portman starred in the science fiction film Annihilation, based on Jeff VanderMeer's novel. She played a biologist and former soldier who studies a mysterious quarantined zone of mutating organisms.[157][158] She was pleased to headline a rare female-led science fiction film, and she moved her family near Pinewood Studios during filming. For the action sequences, she underwent movement training with the dancer Bobbi Jene Smith.[159] Benjamin Lee of The Guardian took note of Portman's "strong, fiercely compelling presence" and commended her for playing the part without unnecessary sentimentality.[160] It only received a limited theatrical release and was distributed on Netflix internationally.[161] Her next appearance was in Xavier Dolan's first English-language film, the ensemble drama The Death & Life of John F. Donovan (2018), which was termed a "shocking misfire" by Eric Kohn of IndieWire.[162] She then starred as a troubled pop singer in Vox Lux, sharing the part with Raffey Cassidy. She was drawn to the idea of showcasing the negative effects of fame, and in preparation, she watched documentaries on musicians and listened to the music of Sia, who wrote her songs in the film. For the climactic dance routines, she trained with her husband, Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed the sequence.[163] It received mixed reviews from critics, but Portman's performance earned unanimous praise.[164] Comparing it to her performances in Black Swan and Jackie, Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph wrote that "this role has a similar audacity and extravagance that few actresses would dare attempt, let alone be allowed to get away with".[165]

Unused footage from Thor: The Dark World and a new voice-over was used for Portman's brief appearance in the 2019 superhero film Avengers: Endgame.[166] She then portrayed a psychologically troubled astronaut (based on Lisa Nowak) in the drama Lucy in the Sky, directed by Noah Hawley.[167] She replaced the film's producer Reese Witherspoon, who backed out due to a scheduling conflict. The film was poorly received, though Portman's performance was praised.[168] The following year, she narrated the Disney+ nature documentary Dolphin Reef and voiced Jane Foster in the animated series What If...?.[169][170] In 2022, Portman reprised her role as Foster in the sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, in which her character becomes Mighty Thor.[171][172] She agreed to return to the franchise after meeting with director Taika Waititi, who offered to portray her character in an "adventurous and fun and funny" way.[173][174] Nick Allen at RogerEbert.com opined, "In both her human and her heroic state, Portman’s performance conveys why it's great to see Jane again."[175] In a 2022 readers' poll by Empire magazine, Portman was voted one of the 50 greatest actors of all time.[176]

Portman and her producing partner, Sophie Mas, founded the production company MountainA in 2021, and signed a first-look television deal with Apple TV+.[177] Their first project will be Lady in the Lake, a miniseries adaptation of Laura Lippman's novel of the same name, starring Portman.[178] Portman will also star opposite Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes' romantic drama film May December.[179]

Discover more about Career related topics

Luc Besson

Luc Besson

Luc Paul Maurice Besson is a French film director, screenwriter and producer. He directed or produced the films Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988), and La Femme Nikita (1990). Associated with the Cinéma du look film movement, he has been nominated for a César Award for Best Director and Best Picture for his films Léon: The Professional (1994) and the English-language The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999). He won Best Director and Best French Director for his sci-fi action film The Fifth Element (1997). He wrote and directed the 2014 sci-fi action film Lucy and the 2017 space opera film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

Jean Reno

Jean Reno

Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez, better known as Jean Reno, is a Spanish-French actor. He has worked in U.S., French, English, Japanese, Spanish and Italian movie productions; Reno appeared in films such as Crimson Rivers, Godzilla, The Da Vinci Code, Mission: Impossible, The Pink Panther, Ronin, Les Visiteurs, Wasabi, The Big Blue, Hector and the Search for Happiness and Léon: The Professional.

Hal Hinson

Hal Hinson

Hal Hinson is an American film critic who wrote for The Washington Post from 1987 to 1997. As of July 2015 he has 887 reviews collected on the website Rotten Tomatoes. Hinson has been cited as a critic who is unpopular with his fellow critics, as he is not afraid to give a polarized review; for instance, he lauded Hudson Hawk, which was otherwise panned. Another example is his review for Super Mario Bros., which went against the critical consensus. Hinson wrote an essay on Montgomery Clift, entitled "Some Notes on Method Acting" for Sight & Sound in 1984. He also reviewed for Film Comment in the mid 1980s.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times, abbreviated as LA Times, is a daily newspaper that started publishing in Los Angeles in 1881. Based in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo since 2018, it is the sixth-largest newspaper by circulation in the United States. The publication has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes. It is owned by Patrick Soon-Shiong and published by the Times Mirror Company. The newspaper's coverage has evolved more recently away from U.S. and international headlines and toward emphasizing California and especially Southern California stories.

Developing (film)

Developing (film)

Developing is a 1994 short film directed by Marya Cohn, about the relationship between a girl and her single mother, who has breast cancer. The film, shot in 1993, stars Natalie Portman in her first film role and Frances Conroy. The short was Cohn's thesis film.

Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Frances Hardman Conroy is an American actress. She is best known for playing Ruth Fisher on the television series Six Feet Under (2001–2005), for which she won a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and received four Primetime Emmy Awards nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She is also known for playing the older version of Moira O'Hara in season one of the television anthology series American Horror Story, which garnered Conroy her first Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television nomination, and as well a Primetime Emmy Awards nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Conroy subsequently portrayed The Angel of Death, Myrtle Snow, Gloria Mott, Mama Polk, Bebe Babbitt, and Belle Noir on seven further seasons of the show: Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Roanoke, Cult, Apocalypse, and Double Feature, respectively. Conroy is the fourth actor who has appeared in most seasons of the show. For her performance in Coven, she was nominated again for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Anne Shirley

Anne Shirley

Anne Shirley is a fictional character introduced in the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Shirley is featured throughout the classic book series, which revolve around her life and family in 19th and 20th-century Prince Edward Island.

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Written for all ages, it has been considered a classic children's novel since the mid-20th century. Set in the late 19th century, the novel recounts the adventures of 11 year old orphan girl Anne Shirley sent by mistake to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who had originally intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way through life with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.

Al Pacino

Al Pacino

Alfredo James Pacino is an American actor. Considered one of the greatest and most influential actors of the 20th century, he has received numerous accolades: including an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, and two Primetime Emmy Awards, making him one of the few performers to have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting. He has also been honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2001, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2007, the National Medal of Arts in 2011, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2016.

Heat (1995 film)

Heat (1995 film)

Heat is a 1995 American crime drama film written and directed by Michael Mann. It features an ensemble cast led by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, with Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight and Val Kilmer in supporting roles. The film follows the conflict between an LAPD detective, played by Pacino, and a career criminal, played by De Niro, while also depicting its effect on their professional relationships and personal lives.

Beautiful Girls (film)

Beautiful Girls (film)

Beautiful Girls is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ted Demme and written by Scott Rosenberg. Its story follows New York jazz pianist Willie Conway, as he heads back to his hometown of Knight's Ridge, Massachusetts for his high school reunion, where he finds his friends evaluating their lives and relationships. It stars Matt Dillon, Noah Emmerich, Lauren Holly, Timothy Hutton, Rosie O'Donnell, Martha Plimpton, Natalie Portman, Michael Rapaport, Mira Sorvino and Uma Thurman.

Janet Maslin

Janet Maslin

Janet R. Maslin is an American journalist, best known as a film and literary critic for The New York Times. She served as a Times film critic from 1977 to 1999 and as a book critic from 2000 to 2015. In 2000, Maslin helped found the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York. She is president of its board of directors.

Activism

Portman, who is an advocate for animal rights, became a vegetarian at age eight, a decision which came after she witnessed a demonstration of laser surgery on a chicken while attending a medical conference with her father.[180][181] She became a vegan in 2009 after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals and later produced a documentary on factory farming systems in the U.S. by the same title.[182][183] In September 2017, she was recognized for her work on the film by the Environmental Media Association Awards with the Ongoing Commitment Award.[184] She does not wear animal products and has praised animal-friendly products designed by Stella McCartney and Target. In 2007, she launched her own brand of animal-friendly footwear.[185] In 2007, Portman traveled to Rwanda with Jack Hanna, to film the documentary, Gorillas on the Brink.[186] Portman has been an advocate of environmental causes since childhood, when she joined an environmental song and dance troupe known as World Patrol Kids.[187]

Portman speaking about the global microfinance organization, FINCA, at Columbia University in 2007
Portman speaking about the global microfinance organization, FINCA, at Columbia University in 2007

Portman has also supported anti-poverty causes. 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 developing countries.[188] In an interview 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".[189] On This Week with George Stephanopoulos in April 2007, Portman discussed her work with FINCA and how it can benefit women and children in Third World countries.[190] In fall-2007, she visited several university campuses, including Harvard, USC, 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.[191]

Portman is a supporter of the Democratic Party, and for the 2004 presidential election she campaigned for Senator John Kerry.[192][193] Prior to the 2008 presidential election, she supported Senator Hillary Clinton of New York in the Democratic primaries. Portman later campaigned for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. In a 2008 interview, she also stated: "I even like John McCain. I disagree with his war stance – which is a really big deal – but I think he's a very moral person."[194] In 2010, her activist work and popularity with young people earned her a nomination for VH1's Do Something Awards, which is dedicated to honoring individuals who do good.[195] In 2011, Portman and her then-fiancé Benjamin Millepied were among the signers of a petition to President Obama in support of same-sex marriage.[196] She supported Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.[197]

In 2009, Portman signed a petition that defended Roman Polanski, who was charged with drugging and raping a thirteen-year-old girl in 1977, and has been a fugitive for decades.[198][199][200] In February 2018, she expressed regret over signing the petition.[201]

In January 2011, Portman was appointed an ambassador of WE Charity (formerly known as Free The Children), an international charity and educational partner, spearheading their Power of a Girl campaign.[202] She hosted a contest challenging girls in North America to fundraise for one of WE Charity's all-girl schools in Kenya. As incentives for the contest winner, Portman offered the designer Rodarte dress she wore to the premiere of Black Swan, along with tickets to her next film premiere.[202] It was announced in May 2012 that Portman would be working with watch designer Richard Mille to develop a limited-edition timepiece with proceeds supporting WE Charity.[203] During WE Day California 2019 Portman gave a pro vegan speech in front of the student audience, linking vegan lifestyle and feminism.[204][205] In December 2019, she visited Kenya a second time with WE Charity and spoke with young girls determined to improve their lives through access to education.[206]

In 2006, Portman served as a guest lecturer at Columbia University for a course in terrorism and counterterrorism, where she spoke about her film V for Vendetta.[207] In February 2015, Portman was among other alumni of Harvard University including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Darren Aronofsky and Susan Faludi who wrote an open letter to the school demanding it divest its $35,900,000,000 endowment from coal, gas, and oil companies.[208] Later that year in May, she spoke at the annual Harvard Class Day to the graduating class of 2015.[209]

At Harvard, Portman wrote a letter to The Harvard Crimson in response to an essay critical of Israeli actions toward Palestinians.[210] She has nevertheless criticized the Israeli government, specifically Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Portman was critical of Netanyahu's re-election in 2015, saying she was "disappointed" and often found his comments racist.[211] In November 2017, Portman was announced as the Genesis Prize recipient for 2018, which includes $2,000,000 in prize money.[212][211] The following April, Portman announced that she did not plan to attend the awards ceremony scheduled for June, citing "recent events in Israel" that left her feeling uncomfortable attending public events there.[213] The ceremony was canceled.[213] Portman further clarified that she was not boycotting Israel, explaining that she did not want to "appear as endorsing" Netanyahu, who was to give a speech at the ceremony.[214] She is also a member of the One Voice movement.[215]

In January 2018, she donated $50,000 to the Time's Up initiative.[216] Portman took part in the 2018 Women's March in Los Angeles, where she spoke about the "sexual terrorism" she experienced at age thirteen after the release of her film Léon: The Professional. She told the crowd, "I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually I would feel unsafe and that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body to my great discomfort."[217] She drew attention to the MeToo movement, revealing that her first fan letter was a "rape fantasy" from a man and that her local radio station created a countdown until her eighteenth birthday (when she would reach legal age to consent to have intercourse).[217]

In 2020, Portman endorsed the "defund the police" movement.[218] In 2020, Portman collaborated with JusticeLA to create a public service announcement #SuingToSaveLives about the health of people in L.A. County jails amid the COVID-19 pandemic.[219][220] Later in 2020, Portman was announced as one of the co-founders and investors in an almost all-female group that was awarded a new franchise in the National Women's Soccer League, the top level of the women's sport in the U.S. The new team, since unveiled as Angel City FC, began play in the 2022 NWSL season.[221][222]

Discover more about Activism related topics

Animal rights

Animal rights

Animal rights is the philosophy according to which many or all sentient animals have moral worth independent of their utility to humans, and that their most basic interests—such as avoiding suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings. Broadly speaking, and particularly in popular discourse, the term "animal rights" is often used synonymously with "animal protection" or "animal liberation". More narrowly, "animal rights" refers to the idea that many animals have fundamental rights to be treated with respect as individuals—rights to life, liberty, and freedom from torture that may not be overridden by considerations of aggregate welfare.

Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer is an American novelist. He is known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated (2002), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005), Here I Am (2016), and for his non-fiction works Eating Animals (2009) and We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast (2019). He teaches creative writing at New York University.

Eating Animals

Eating Animals

Eating Animals is the third book by the American novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, published in 2009. A New York Times best-seller, Eating Animals provides a dense discussion of what it means to eat animals in an industrialized world. It was written in close collaboration with Farm Forward, a US nonprofit organization promoting veganism and sustainable agriculture.

Environmental Media Association

Environmental Media Association

The Environmental Media Association (EMA) is a non-profit organization which was founded in 1989 by Cindy Horn and Lyn Lear. EMA works with the entertainment industry to encourage green production and raise the public's environmental awareness. The group provides a "Green Seal" to productions which reduce their environmental footprint. The first movie to have the EMA Green Seal in its credits was The Incredible Hulk, which made specific efforts during its 2007 filming to cut carbon emissions and waste created during production. There are also various TV episodes, such as the Futurama episode "The Problem with Popplers", and various movies have been awarded the Environmental Media Award, which is awarded to the best television show or film with an environmental message.

Rwanda

Rwanda

Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is highly elevated, giving it the soubriquet "land of a thousand hills", with its geography dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the southeast, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. Rwanda has a population of over 12.6 million living on 26,338 km2 (10,169 sq mi) of land, and is the most densely populated mainland African country; among countries larger than 10,000 km2, it is the fifth most densely populated country in the world. One million people live in the capital and largest city Kigali.

Jack Hanna

Jack Hanna

Jack Bushnell Hanna is a retired American zookeeper and a former director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. "Jungle Jack" was director of the zoo from 1978 to 1992, and is viewed as largely responsible for elevating its quality and reputation. His media appearances, particularly with Johnny Carson, David Letterman, James Corden, Good Morning America, and Maury Povich have made him one of the most notable animal experts in the United States.

Environmentalism

Environmentalism

Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the impact of changes to the environment on humans, animals, plants and non-living matter. While environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecologism combines the ideology of social ecology and environmentalism. Ecologism is more commonly used in continental European languages, while environmentalism is more commonly used in English but the words have slightly different connotations.

FINCA International

FINCA International

FINCA International is a non-profit, microfinance organization, founded by John Hatch in 1984. FINCA is the innovator of the village banking methodology in microcredit and is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modern-day microfinance. With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., FINCA is considered to be one of the most influential microfinance organizations in the world. The name FINCA is an acronym for Foundation for International Community Assistance.

Columbia University

Columbia University

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, it is the oldest institution of higher education in New York, the fifth-oldest in the United States, and one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence.

Ecuador

Ecuador

Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) west of the mainland. The country's capital and largest city is Quito.

Microcredit

Microcredit

Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to impoverished borrowers who typically lack collateral, steady employment, or a verifiable credit history. It is designed to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty. Many recipients are illiterate, and therefore unable to complete paperwork required to get conventional loans. As of 2009 an estimated 74 million people held microloans that totaled US$38 billion. Grameen Bank reports that repayment success rates are between 95 and 98 percent.

Microfinance

Microfinance

Microfinance is a category of financial services targeting individuals and small businesses who lack access to conventional banking and related services. Microfinance includes microcredit, the provision of small loans to poor clients; savings and checking accounts; microinsurance; and payment systems, among other services. Microfinance services are designed to reach excluded customers, usually poorer population segments, possibly socially marginalized, or geographically more isolated, and to help them become self-sufficient. ID Ghana is an example of a microfinance institution.

Personal life and endorsements

Portman with her husband Benjamin Millepied in 2012
Portman with her husband Benjamin Millepied in 2012

Portman is married to French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, with whom she has two children.[223][224][225] The couple began dating in 2009 after having met while working together on the set of Black Swan,[226] and wed in a Jewish ceremony held in Big Sur, California, on August 4, 2012.[227] The family lived in Paris for a time[228] after Millepied accepted the position of director of dance with the Paris Opera Ballet,[229] and Portman has expressed a desire to become a French citizen.[230] In 2013, she was living in Los Angeles.[231] In 2017 she bought a Montecito mansion, which she sold in 2021 for $8 million.[232]

In 2006, Portman commented that she felt more Jewish in Israel and that she would like to raise her children Jewish: "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."[233][234] In January 2014, Millepied said he was in the process of converting to Judaism.[235]

In 2010, Portman signed on with Dior and appeared in several of the company's advertising campaigns.[236] In October 2012, Britain's Advertising Standards Authority banned a Dior advertisement that featured Portman wearing Dior mascara after a complaint from Dior's competitor, L'Oreal, saying that the advert "misleadingly exaggerated the likely effects of the product". The ASA ruled that "the ad was likely to mislead".[237] Portman is the face of one of the company's fragrances, Miss Dior, inspired by Catherine Dior.[238] She has starred in campaign videos for the fragrance, and promoted a new version of the fragrance, Rose N'Roses, in 2021.[239][240]

Discover more about Personal life and endorsements related topics

Benjamin Millepied

Benjamin Millepied

Benjamin Millepied is a French dancer and choreographer, who has lived and worked in the United States since joining the New York City Ballet in 1995, where he became a soloist in 1998 and a principal in 2002. He has also created choreography for the company, and choreographed pieces for other major companies. He retired from the NYCB in 2011.

Big Sur

Big Sur

Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California between Carmel and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the "longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States", a sublime "national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development", and "one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation". The views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for visitors from across the world. With 4.5 to 7 million visitors annually, it is among the top tourist destinations in the United States, comparable to Yosemite National Park, but with considerably fewer services, and less parking, roads, and related infrastructure.

Paris Opera Ballet

Paris Opera Ballet

The Paris Opera Ballet is a French ballet company that is an integral part of the Paris Opera. It is the oldest national ballet company, and many European and international ballet companies can trace their origins to it. It is still regarded as one of the four most prominent ballet companies in the world, together with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, the Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg and the Royal Ballet in London.

Montecito, California

Montecito, California

Montecito is an unincorporated town and census-designated place in Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Located on the Central Coast of California, Montecito sits between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and had a population of 8,638 in 2020. Montecito is best known as a "celebrity enclave", owing to its concentration of prominent residents.

Conversion to Judaism

Conversion to Judaism

Conversion to Judaism is the process by which non-Jews adopt the Jewish religion and become members of the Jewish ethnoreligious community. It thus resembles both conversion to other religions and naturalization. The procedure and requirements for conversion depend on the sponsoring denomination. Furthermore, a conversion done in accordance with one Jewish denomination is not a guarantee of recognition by another denomination. Normally, though not always, the conversions performed by more stringent denominations are recognized by less stringent ones, but not the other way around. A formal conversion is also sometimes undertaken by individuals whose Jewish ancestry is questioned or uncertain, even if they were raised Jewish, but may not actually be considered Jews according to traditional Jewish law.

Dior

Dior

Christian Dior SE, commonly known as Dior, is a European multinational luxury fashion house controlled and chaired by French businessman Bernard Arnault, who also heads LVMH. Dior holds 42.36% shares and 59.01% of voting rights within LVMH.

Catherine Dior

Catherine Dior

Ginette Dior, better known as Catherine Dior, was a French resistance fighter during World War II. Involved with the Franco-Polish intelligence unit F2 from November 1941, she was arrested in Paris in July 1944 by the Gestapo, then tortured and deported to the Ravensbrück women concentration camp. Dior was subsequently forced to work in the Torgau military prison, in the Buchenwald's satellite camp of Abberode, and finally in a factory near Leipzig. After her release in April 1945, she was awarded several medals of honour for her acts in the Resistance, most notably the Croix de Guerre, the King's Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom, and the Legion of Honour.

Filmography and awards

Portman's most acclaimed and highest-grossing films, according to the online portal Box Office Mojo and the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, include Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), Closer (2004), Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), V for Vendetta (2005), Black Swan (2010), No Strings Attached (2011), Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Jackie (2016), and Annihilation (2018).[241][242]

Portman was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Black Swan, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for Closer. She has received two more Academy Award nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Closer and Best Actress for Jackie; and two more Golden Globe nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Anywhere but Here (1999) and Best Actress in a Drama for Jackie.[243]

Discover more about Filmography and awards related topics

Natalie Portman filmography

Natalie Portman filmography

Natalie Portman is an actress and filmmaker with dual Israeli and American citizenship. She made her film debut in Luc Besson's action thriller Léon: The Professional, which starred her as the young protégée of a hitman. She followed this by appearing in Michael Mann's crime thriller Heat (1995), Ted Demme's romantic comedy Beautiful Girls (1996), and Tim Burton's science fiction comedy Mars Attacks! (1996). Three years later, her supporting role as the precocious, responsible daughter of a narcissistic mother played by Susan Sarandon in the drama Anywhere but Here earned Portman her first Golden Globe Award nomination. In the same year, she played Padmé Amidala in the first of the Star Wars prequel trilogy Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, which brought her international recognition. She reprised the role in its sequels Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).

List of awards and nominations received by Natalie Portman

List of awards and nominations received by Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman is an Israeli-American actress and filmmaker who has received various awards and nominations, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a British Academy Film Award. She has received additional nominations for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, and two British Academy Film Awards.

Box Office Mojo

Box Office Mojo

Box Office Mojo is an American website that tracks box-office revenue in a systematic, algorithmic way. The site was founded in 1998 by Brandon Gray, and was bought in 2008 by IMDb, which itself is owned by Amazon.

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. Although the name "Rotten Tomatoes" connects to the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes in disapproval of a poor stage performance, the original inspiration comes from a scene featuring tomatoes in the Canadian film Léolo (1992).

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Frank Oz. The sequel to The Phantom Menace (1999) and Attack of the Clones (2002), it is the sixth film in the Star Wars film series, the final installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and third chronological chapter of the "Skywalker Saga".

Black Swan (film)

Black Swan (film)

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky from a screenplay by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on a story by Heinz. The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder, and revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by the New York City Ballet company. The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina Sayers (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new rival Lily (Kunis). Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the role, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into madness.

Jackie (2016 film)

Jackie (2016 film)

Jackie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim. The film stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy. Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt also star; it was Hurt's final film released in his lifetime before his death in January 2017. The film follows Kennedy in the days when she was First Lady in the White House and her life immediately following the assassination of her husband, United States President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. It is partly based on Theodore H. White's Life magazine interview with the widow at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in November 1963.

Annihilation (film)

Annihilation (film)

Annihilation is a 2018 science fiction psychological horror film written and directed by Alex Garland, based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. It stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac. The story follows a group of explorers who enter "The Shimmer", a mysterious quarantined zone of mutating plants and animals caused by an alien presence.

Academy Award for Best Actress

Academy Award for Best Actress

The Academy Award For Best Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role in a film released that year. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actor winner.

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

The Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture is a Golden Globe Award that was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 1944 for a performance in a motion picture released in the previous year.

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to honor an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role while working within the film industry. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Supporting Actor winner.

Anywhere but Here (film)

Anywhere but Here (film)

Anywhere But Here is a 1999 American coming-of-age comedy drama film based on the novel of the same name by Mona Simpson. It was directed by Wayne Wang from a screenplay by Alvin Sargent, and stars Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, and Shawn Hatosy.

Source: "Natalie Portman", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 9th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalie_Portman.

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Notes
  1. ^ Natalie Herschlag (נטע-לי הרשלג‎, also Romanized as Neta-Lee Hershlag)[3][4] was her birth name in Hebrew, the official language of her native Israel,[2][5] After she secured a part in her first feature film in 1994, she assumed her paternal grandmother's maiden name, "Portman", as her stage name.[6]
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