Portman with Elmo and the Elephant.
|Star Wars work||
Natalie Hershlag (born June 9, 1981 in West Jerusalem, Israel), better known under her stage name Natalie Portman (Portman being her grandmother's maiden name), is an Israeli-American actress. She portrayed Padmé Amidala in the prequel trilogy. Her father, Avner Hershlag, is an Israeli doctor specializing in fertility and reproduction (reproductive endocrinology). Her mother, Shelley Stevens, is an American homemaker who now works as her agent.
When Natalie was three years old her family moved from Israel to the United States for her father to pursue his medical training. They first went to Washington, D.C. in 1984 and then Connecticut in 1988, before finally settling down in Syosset, New York in 1990.
Natalie was a child actress who performed in local troupes and dreamed of dancing on Broadway. One day after dance class at age eleven, Natalie was discovered in a pizza parlor by an agent for Revlon, who offered her an opportunity to model. She asked to be introduced to acting talent scouts and quickly got an audition for Luc Besson's 1994 film Léon (aka The Professional). She soon made her movie début at the age of twelve playing an orphaned girl who befriends a much older assassin in the intense R rated film.
During her teen years Portman played a significant and memorable role in the ensemble cast of Beautiful Girls, and had minor roles in Heat, Everyone Says I Love You, and Mars Attacks!. During her junior year in high school, Portman starred in the Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, performing eight shows a week while attending classes fulltime. In 1999, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Ann August in Anywhere But Here. Portman went on to play a persevering teenaged mother in Where the Heart Is. Later she was one of many celebrities who played themselves in the cameo comedy Zoolander.
While pursuing her bachelor's degree in psychology at Harvard she appeared in the Star Wars prequel trilogy of movies, which were filmed during her summer break from university. In her interview in "Inside the Actor's Studio" series, Portman stated that when her agent first told her about the new Star Wars trilogy she didn't know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek.
Many people think she and Keira Knightley look very much alike, which was the main reason that Keira got the role of Sabé, Padmé's (Natalie Portman) bodyguard. They look so much like each other, that during the making of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, not even their mothers could tell them apart, when they both had make-up.
After graduating from Harvard in 2003 Natalie had a small but pivotal role as a young war widow in the Oscar-winning movie Cold Mountain. That was followed in 2004 by starring roles in the successful independent movies Garden State and Closer, winning a Supporting Actress Golden Globe for her role as Alice in Closer. She was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the same role.
As of 2005, Portman is pursuing graduate studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel in Middle Eastern Studies.
Portman hosted a 2006 episode of Saturday Night Live, in which she bested a "fan" at Star Wars trivia.
In a 2007 interview, she said that although she is pleased with the Star Wars work she has done, she doesn't plan to work with the Star Wars universe again.
|2008||The Other Boleyn Girl||Anne Boleyn|
|2007||Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium||Molly Mahoney|
|2007||My Blueberry Nights||Leslie|
|2007||The Darjeeling Limited||Jack's Ex-Girlfriend|
|2007||Hotel Chevalier||Jack's Ex-Girlfriend||13-minute short companion piece to The Darjeeling Limited|
|2006||Paris, je t'aime||Francine|
|2005||V for Vendetta||Evey|
|2005||Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||Padmé|
|2005||Domino One||Dominique Bellamy|
|2002||Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones||Senator Padmé Amidala|
|2000||Where the Heart Is||Novalee Nation|
|1999||Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace||Queen Padmé Naberrie Amidala|
|1999||Anywhere But Here||Ann August|
|1996||Mars Attacks!||Taffy Dale|
|1996||Everyone Says I Love You||Laura Dandridge|
|1994||The Professional aka Leon||Mathilda|