She’s talented, versatile, smart, and extremely beautiful. She’s simply everything that everyone adores.
Natalie Portman is one of the most beautiful actresses in the industry and she is much more than just a Hollywood superstar. She’s our ultimate crush in Hollywood. But we bet there’s more that you probably don’t know about her. Take a look below at some of the most fascinating facts about this adorable actress.
She Was Born In Israel
Portman was born in Jerusalem in 1981, to an Israeli father and American mother, making her a dual citizen. At the age of three, her family moved to the U.S., where her father received further medical training in New York City and Washington DC. On different occasions, the actress shared that although the actress loves America, Jerusalem is where she really feels at home.
Her Breakthrough Was in 1994
Portman’s first big movie role was the 1994 film Léon: The Professional. The young actress played the role of an orphan who is taken in by a hitman. Shortly after the film was released, she won roles in such films as Heat, Beautiful Girls, and Mars Attacks!.
She’s A Harvard Graduate
While pursuing her acting career, Portman earned a Psychology degree from Harvard. Just shortly after Star Wars: Episode 1, she enrolled in the prestigious University. She has been really serious with her studies. She even missed the premiere of her “Star Wars: Episode 1 movie, so she could study for her high school final exam.
A few years ago, Portman addressed the graduating class in Harvard and she delivered a very powerful speech. She shared that her time at school was not always easy.
“I have to admit that today, even 12 years after graduation, I’m still insecure about my own worthiness,” said the actress. “Today I feel much like I did when I came to Harvard Yard as a freshman in 1999,” the now 33-year-old explained. “I felt like there had been some mistake, that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company, and that every time I opened my mouth I would have to prove that I wasn’t just a dumb actress.”
Portman feared that people would think she had gotten in just because she’s famous and not being worthy of the Harvard’s intellectual standards.
“When I got to Harvard, just after the release of ‘ Star Wars: Episode 1,’ I feared people would assume I had gotten in just for being famous and not worthy of the intellectual rigor here. And they would not have been far from the truth. When I came here, I had never written a 10-page paper before. I was alarmed and intimidated by the calm eyes of fellow students who thought that the workload here was easy compared to high school. I was completely overwhelmed, and thought that reading 1,000 pages a week was unimaginable or that writing a 50-page thesis was something that I could never do.”
Portman said that she arrived at Harvard with the intention of proving she could be serious. She said that after being serious in the intense courses, she finally allowed herself to realize that her true passion all along was acting. She admitted to herself that she couldn’t wait to go back to make more films when she got to her graduation. The actress said that her Harvard degree represents to her the curiosity and invention that we’re encouraged here, the friendships I’ve maintained.”
The actress had some other worries at school, and she considered herself inexperience. She was completely overwhelmed by the academic demands and she had fears. But she pointed out that we can use inexperience as an asset.
“Fear protects us in many ways, but w hat has served me is diving into my own obliviousness,” Portman explained.
“Being more confident than I should be … trying things that you never would have tried. Your inexperience is an asset in that it will make you think in original, unconventional ways. Accept your lack of knowledge and use it as your asset.”
She Has A High IQ
Well, this might be obvious since Portman graduated from Harvard. But not everyone knows that this beautiful actress has an IQ score of 140. This is really high and we can consider Portman to be extremely gifted. Smart cookie, isn’t she?
She’s also published two research papers in scientific journals—”A Simple Method to Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar” was a 1998 high school paper, and “Frontal Lobe Activation During Object Permanence: Data From Near-Infrared Spectroscopy” is from 2002, during her psychology studies at Harvard.
She Enjoys Scuba Diving
Portman loves “extreme” activities and Scuba Diving is one of her favorites. She took diving lessons in Eilat (Israel) years ago. She has since then enjoyed scuba diving whenever her schedule allows for it.
She once told Empire magazine: “I have fears, I’m afraid of a lot. I am not a danger seeker but I do like extreme experiences. But not ones that I feel would threaten my life. I like scuba-diving, for example, but I wouldn’t free-dive.”
The actress takes her adrenalin addiction into her career life and she tries to take on roles which frighten and push her creatively.
“Work-wise, I try to do things that scare me, because I know they’re going to challenge me. But I didn’t know what I was in for with Black Swan,” she added. “I didn’t realise what it was going to be like. But the cliche is true, the more you put in, the more you get out.”
She’s An Oscar Winner
An Oscar award is considered to be the Nobel Prize in Hollywood. It’s the biggest and most coveted award ever. In 2011, Portman won the best actress award from Oscar for her role in the Black Swan.
The actress have won multiple awards and nominations throughout her career but her role in Black Swan was one of the most remarkable.
The psychological movie Black Swan, set in the world of New York City ballet, follows Nina who played by Portman, a ballerina whose is completely obsessed with and consumed by dance. It was a challenging role for Portman mentally and physically. But the actress was so into it and she did a lot of preparation. Yes, a lot. She did many things in transforming herself into this role.
It was a great challenge, and I had really, really amazing support. All of the teachers and coaches, the choreographer and director, first and foremost, were shaping and pushing along the way. I started with my ballet teacher a year ahead of time, and she started very basically with me,” Portman shared during a press conference to promote the film’s release.
“We would do two hours a day for the first six months, and that was really just strengthening and getting me ready to do more, so that I wouldn’t get injured. And then, at about six months, we started doing five hours a day. We added in swimming, so I was swimming a mile a day, toning and then doing three hours of ballet class a day. And then, two months before, we added the choreography, so we were doing probably eight hours a day.”
That was indeed a lot of hard work for her to. But her preparation did not only help her physically. It also helped her to achieve the emotional element needed for her deep role.
“The physical discipline of it really helped for the emotional side of the character because you get the sense of the monastic lifestyle of only working out, that is a ballet dancer’s life. You don’t drink, you don’t go out with your friends, you don’t have much food and you are constantly putting your body through extreme pain, so you get that understanding of the self-flagellation of a ballet dancer.”
All the hard work has paid off Portman, now you got an Oscar!
Natalie Portman Loves Travelling
Portman has always been an avid traveler, and she is known for having gone on solo adventures around Morocco and Guatemala, where she stayed in tents and toured the Sahara Desert on top of a camel.
She’s Also A Director
Portman is really versatile and talented. She has made her own name in acting, but she also took another challenging role which is directing. Her directorial profects include the short film Eve (2008) and the biographical drama A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015). Portman believed that Hollywood is now in better situation and people are now hiring more female directors
“People are actively looking for female directors for the first time,” said Portman in Harpers Bazaar. “I don’t think there is anything qualitatively different about how a man sees the world and how a woman sees the world, but the more different people direct films, the more different experiences you’ll see represented. The variety and quality of story-telling will become broader. Everything we’ve seen so far is one tenth of human experience, and we see how rich that’s been and it’s incredible to see the variety that you’re able to get from the straight white male experience. There are so many amazing films out there. Imagine if that was opened up beyond that. We’re still struggling in single percentages of digits, but it’s on everyone’s mind to be changing that which is great.”
She Is The Mighty Thor
Thor movies are quickly becoming some of the most exciting titles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans went crazy when they knew there’s gonna be another Thor, and that is no other than Portman.
Portman initially left the Thor movie franchise after Thor: The Dark World. Portman. She will be making her most awaited return to the MCU in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, reprising her role as Jane Foster and, yes, transforming into Mighty Thor.
The director meanwhile made some clarification.
“[She’s] a Thor,” Waititi clarified to Entertainment tonight following the film’s presentation when asked about Portman taking over the role. “There’s still the other Thor, the original Thor [played by Chris Hemsworth].”
He also said, “she’s not called Female Thor. In the comics, she’s called the Mighty Thor. …Couldn’t be more happy and excited.”
So there’s gonna be two Thors! Double the excitement indeed.
She’s A Vegan
Another interesting thing about this beautiful actress is that she is a vegan.
For many years, she adopted a vegetarian diet, but when she read the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Foer, the actress was inspires to go into vegan lifestyle.
“When I read the book, that was what made me become a vegan,” Portman previously said on the premiere’s press line about her film project of the same name as the title of Foer’s book. “I think until then, I had thought, ‘Oh, with eggs and dairy, you’re not killing animals. It’s just their natural byproducts.’ But when I started learning about the conditions—and the environmental effect of all these animals and the impact on humans of having large groups of sick animals together, it really made me want to change immediately.”
The actress has become an unofficial ambassador for living vegan, speaking at length about the greater benefits this lifestyle brings to the environmental and health. She’s also pretty positive about it, and she has seen distinct change in public perception and consumers” demand for vegan products.
“I feel like there’s a lot more vegetarian and vegan places opening all the time. I mean, in L.A., we’re spoiled—but even in New York,” she said. “And places like Shake Shack have a vegetarian option now. It’s obviously something that consumers are demanding more. Things like the Impossible Burger and Kite Hill cheese and Van Leeuwen’s vegan ice cream, those things pop up and create really incredible alternatives. People don’t feel like they’re sacrificing anything. They can still have delicious food and not be harming the planet.”
Portman is also known as women’s activist and there seems to be a connection of veganism and feminism as it also supports women’s rights, says Yahoo News.
“Only after I became active in women’s issues did I realize that my veganism was related to those very issues,” said Portman in a speech delivered during the We Day California, “a celebrity-packed celebration of youth activism” at the Forum in Los Angeles.
“Dairy and eggs don’t just come from cows and chickens, they come from female cows and female chickens.”
“We’re exploiting female bodies and abusing the magic of female animals to create eggs and milk.”
“Mothers are separated from children to create milk,” she explained. “Animals are sick and in crowded, prison-like conditions to make dairy and eggs. It doesn’t take a lot to draw the line from how we treat animals to how we treat humans.”
Portman encouraged them to have an open heart and feel someone’s pain like their own. She also inspired everyone to never be afraid to show how much they care.
“And it’s the most beautiful thing to care, to have your heart open so much that someone else’s pain feels like your own, to care so much that you’ll spend your time making sure that change happens, and that’s why you are all here today,” she said.
“Whether it’s environmental issues, animal rights, women’s rights, equality, never be afraid to show how much you care.”