BIOGRAPHY




Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman was born in Jersalem, Israel, on June 9, 1981. She is 5'4", and the only child of a doctor (infertility specialist) father and an artist mother. After being born in Israel, she moved to Washington, then to Connecticut, and then finally to Long Island, New York, where she resides today with her parents and her dog, Noodles (half Schnauzer / half Poodle). She has always had an appreciation for drama, and appeared in several plays before her 'discovery' by a New York modelling agent, who found her in a pizza parlour, at age 11. Instead of a career in modeling, Natalie opted to focus on acting, and made her screen debut in The Professional. Natalie made the Honor Role at her school, and maintains a straight 'A' average. She intends to go to college (what a shocker), but doesn't intend to major in drama. She's leaning towards something in the sciences, either mathematics, veterinary sciences, or astronomical sciences. For all of you thinking about looking her up, don't. Portman's not her original family name. It is the maiden name of her grandmother. Natalie is a strict vegetarian, and became that way by observing first-hand laser surgery on a chicken at a medical conference attended to by her father. What infertility medicine has to do with chicken-frying is beyond me...Natalie enjoys all forms of dance, as well as reading and writing. She also loves ice skating, which she learned on the set of Beautiful Girls. She also enjoys listening to music, and her favorite groups include Bjork, Alanis Morissette, The Jackson 5, among others. Her favorite actor is Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, among others), and she enjoys the TV shows 'Friends' & 'Ellen.' Natalie is an only child. Her father is a doctor and her mother is an artist. Before the launch of her film career, Natalie appeared in many plays at Usdan Theater Arts Camp. She played the dumb blonde, Dora, in "Fiorello" and the feminist Annie in "Annie get your Gun". She is a vegetarian even since she saw doctors demonstrating laser surgery on a chicken at her father's medical conference. At the age of 11, she was discovered at a pizza parlor by a modeling agency. However she opted to pursue an acting career instead. Portman is not her real name, rather it's her grandmother's maiden name. Apparently, her strategy has paid off. Earlier this year she graduated from High School, while at the same time appearing in the biggest movie of the summer - Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Her latest project, Where the Heart Is, was filmed on her summer vacation and is slated for release in 2000. Up next for her...College. I hear that Natalie is currently attending college somewhere in the US. She plans to attend full time, taking breaks only to film the next two Star Wars films. Whether or not she will continue her acting career after college and the filming of the new Star Wars Trilogy is a mystery, but whatever road she takes, I wish her luck. (Keep an eye out for Anywhere But Here, starring Natalie and Susan Sarandon.)

In the Professional (1994; originally released in director Luc Besson's native France under the title Léon), Mathilda, played by Natalie Portman, formed an unlikely symbiotic relationship with the professional hitman Jean Reno. As the storyline unfolds, Portman's stunning performance proves that she's an actress to be reckoned with. Her '94 debut was immediately followed by minor performances and appearances before Portman once again captured the audience' minds, next to Matt Dillon and Timothy Hutton, in Beautiful Girls (1996). Her career was a one-way ticket, as she continued to distinguish herself in various films, including Michael Mann's Heat (1995) and Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You (1996), and Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! (1996), in which she played the daughter of President Jack Nicholson.


Portman, who turned 18, June '99, has through many years been recognized for her "mature" performances, and has for that and many others reasons become one of cinema's most promising performers. Yet despite her image as a serious young thespian, Portman, who was born in Jerusalem but raised in New York City, is still somewhat a typical teenager who hangs out with her friends, watches Dawson's Creek, listens to Portishead while she does her homework, ponders college, and harbors a fervent passion for fashion (of which she quotes, "It is an art, but people mistake it for materialism").

When Portman was nine, the family settled in Long Island (after having spent years in Israel, Maryland, and Connecticut while her father received advanced training as a doctor) where she has lived as a suburban kid ever since, attending the local high school (even during the major theatrical coming-of-age, her run as Anne Frank) and escaping to the city on weekends ("where I live is a classic suburb - a nice place to grow up but there's nothing to do, which causes a huge problem for young people"). She loves to dance , particularly at giddy, velvet-rope nightspots such as Life. With her interest in fashion, Portman is well-suited to play the exotic Queen Amidala in the beginning of a legend, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In the year of 1995, she met George Lucas in his Marin County home. Approaching the eight year commitment was to Portman not an easy task, as she has yet to reveal her final choice whereas she'll continue as an actress or follow in her father's footsteps to eventually become a doctor. Aware of the potential loss of privacy by starring in a film series that has provoked such devotion among fans worldwide, she signed up for the role as the young queen and future mother of Luke and Leia. "I still can't prepare myself. I don't know what's to come. But what's happened so far has been wonderful, to see people so passionate"



Born:
June 9th 1981


Location:
Born in Jerusalem, Israel, she now lives in New York.


Early Works:
She played Anne in "Anne of Green Gables" in 1994 and "Tapestry" in 1995.
She was discovered in a local Pizza parlour


Her Family:
Her mother is an artist, and her father a doctor. She is an only child.

Her Likes:
Actor Ben Kingsley

Her Dislikes:
Meat, Natalie is a vegetarian.

Her Movies:
Léon (The Professional/The Cleaner) (1994).... Mathilda
Heat (1995) .... Lauren
Beautiful Girls (1996) .... Marty
Everyone Says I Love You (1996) .... Laura
Mars Attacks! (1996) .... Taffy Dale
Star Wars: Episode I (1999)

South Beach (1998)
Prince of Egypt (1998) (voice)
Little Black Book, The (1998)
Star Wars: Episode I (1999)




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