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Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

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Also Known As: Natalie Hershlag Died:
Born: June 9, 1981 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Israel Profession: actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

om home. The Harvard psychology student managed a stint on the New York stage alongside Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Chekhov's "The Seagull" at the Public Theater, but was absent from theaters until "Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones" (2002). The second of three sequels found Portman's Senator Amidala the target of an assassination plot, and cast her opposite future father of her children ¿ and, unfortunately, the future Darth Vader ¿ Hayden Christensen, in a chemistry-impaired match that was not missed by critics nor even the most rudimentary moviegoers. Christensen's poorly written and delivered declarations of love and teen angst to Portman were painful for viewers to watch. Even Portman could not salvage any sense of reality in a world filled with computer-generated backgrounds and clunky writing. Like the previous outing, character and performance were secondary to visual effects, and this time that spelled fewer ticket sales by several hundred million dollars.Portman returned to earth in a supporting turn as a young Civil War widow and mother who has an encounter with a psychologically scarred soldier (Jude Law) in "Cold Mountain" (2003). From that well-received offering...

om home. The Harvard psychology student managed a stint on the New York stage alongside Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Chekhov's "The Seagull" at the Public Theater, but was absent from theaters until "Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones" (2002). The second of three sequels found Portman's Senator Amidala the target of an assassination plot, and cast her opposite future father of her children ¿ and, unfortunately, the future Darth Vader ¿ Hayden Christensen, in a chemistry-impaired match that was not missed by critics nor even the most rudimentary moviegoers. Christensen's poorly written and delivered declarations of love and teen angst to Portman were painful for viewers to watch. Even Portman could not salvage any sense of reality in a world filled with computer-generated backgrounds and clunky writing. Like the previous outing, character and performance were secondary to visual effects, and this time that spelled fewer ticket sales by several hundred million dollars.

Portman returned to earth in a supporting turn as a young Civil War widow and mother who has an encounter with a psychologically scarred soldier (Jude Law) in "Cold Mountain" (2003). From that well-received offering from filmmaker Anthony Minghella, the freshly minted Harvard grad went on to star in the writing and directing debut of sitcom actor Zach Braff, "Garden State" (2004). With this role, Portman finally put teen roles behind her and offered a vivacious, charming performance as an open-hearted young woman who helps an emotionally-stunted aspiring actor grieve his mother's death (Braff) and break out of his shell. The hip, fresh, mini-budget indie was a hit at Sundance, earned Best First Feature from the Independent Spirit Awards, and excellent box office receipts in over 30 countries. It also helped to revive Portman's acting reputation following the derided "Star Wars" films. Further announcing the girl was now a woman, was her offscreen relationship with Oscar-nominated Mexican actor, Gael Garcia Bernal.

Portman earned an Oscar nod of her own in addition to a Golden Globe win for Supporting Actress in Mike Nichols' oft-brutal battle-of-the-sexes, "Closer" (2004), in which she played a stripper who becomes involved in a messy, flip-flopping quadrangle involving a cheating boyfriend (Jude Law) and another couple (Julia Roberts and Clive Owen). In a much-buzzed-about incident, Portman allowed Nichols to film a brief nude scene with her character, but after finding the nudity distracting, Nichols replaced the scene with a more discreetly filmed version at her request. Returning to a galaxy far, far away in 2005, Portman provided tragic closure for the prequel trilogy in "Star Wars: Episode III - The Revenge of the Sith" (2005). The actress and her character were not particularly well served by George Lucas' script, but the film was the best received of the trilogy and topped that year's box office records. With her high profile contract in the high-profile films behind her, Portman returned her focus to independent films, with a starring role in "Free Zone" (2006) from Israeli director Amos Gitai and an appearance in German filmmaker Tom Twyker's contribution to the film collection, "Paris Je T'Aime" (2006).

Following a starring role as the model and muse of famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Javier Bardem) in Milos Forman's "Goya's Ghosts" (2006), a bald-headed Portman went mainstream again in the Wachowski brothers' comic book adaptation, "V for Vendetta" (2006). The dark political thriller was a box office hit, earning Portman a Best Actress honor from the Saturn Awards for her leading role as a heroic woman who plots to overthrow a totalitarian regime. The role also cemented her reputation ¿ along with that of Queen Amidala in years past ¿ as every sci-fi/comic geek's dream girl. Portman's follow-up appearance in Wong Kar-Wai's road dramedy "My Blueberry Nights" (2007) made little impact, while her teaming with Dustin Hoffman as the recipient of a magical toyshop in the family film "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" (2007) was an extravagant failure. Portman was singled out, however, for the depth she brought to her portrayal of Tudor royal Anne Boleyn in the costume drama "The Other Boleyn Girl" (2007), co-starring Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana. Portman created her own production company, Handsome Charlie Films, and began building a resume as a producer with the short film "Eve" (2008), which debuted at the Venice Film Festival and starred Lauren Bacall and Olivia Thirlby.

She made her directorial debut with a segment in the film compilation "New York, I Love You" (2009), also starring as a Hasidic diamond broker and bride-to-be in another segment directed by Mira Nair. Portman went on to serve as producer and co-star alongside Rainn Wilson and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt in the indie film "Hesher" (2009) before starring with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire in "Brothers" (2009). Directed by Jim Sheridan, the drama was a remake of Scandinavian filmmaker Susanne Bier's film about the results of a soldier's wartime disappearance on the wife, children and brother he left behind. In 2010, Portman teamed with Mila Kunis to portray rival dancers in "Black Swan" (2010), a psychological thriller from director Darren Aronofsky. Almost immediately, Portman was touted as a possible front runner for an Academy Award, which later became a reality following an Indie Spirit nod and Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe wins for Best Actress. At the same time she was enjoying intense critical success culminating in an Oscar nomination, the actress announced she was pregnant and engaged to Benjamin Millepied, a choreographer she had met on the set of "Black Swan." Her new year was topped with a Best Actress Oscar win, followed by the female lead in the comic book fanboy favorite, "Thor" (2011), followed by the birth of her son in June. After appearing in the sequel "Thor: The Dark World" (2015), Portman turned to her debut as a screenwriter and director, the Hebrew-language drama "A Tale of Love and Darkness" (2015), based on the novel by Israeli author Amos Oz. After that film's low-key release, Portman worked with cult director Terrence Malick on his experimental anthology "Knight of Cups" (2016) and co-produced the romance-horror mashup "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (2016). Portman hit the screen in "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999), playing the wise and responsible teenaged leader and future mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. The film event marked the first "Star Wars" offering in over 16 years, and the hi-def landmark drew a staggering $900 million dollars at the box office, even as critics were lukewarm over the script and several of the performances. Portman opted to skip the film's Hollywood premiere to study for her final exams, but overall fared well in the over-hyped film's mixed reviews. In fact, compared to child star Jake Lloyd, the annoying, CGI'd creature Jar Jar Binks, and Lucas himself, Portman was probably the least scathed by the overall apathy of diehard "Star Wars" fans who were beyond disappointed in the prequels.

That same year, Portman starred opposite Susan Sarandon in the considerably smaller, character-based Wayne Wang film "Anywhere But Here" (1999), based on Mona Simpson's novel about a single mother and daughter who move from small town Michigan to Beverly Hills. Portman earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as the more mature, practical-minded of the pair. Despite the acclaim, she made the decision that fall to move her film career to the back burner in order to further her education at Harvard. Her final pre-college film, the offbeat romance "Where the Heart Is," hit theaters in the spring of 2000, earning Portman a YoungStar Award for Best Young Actress as well as nominations from the Young Artist and Teen Choice Awards for her portrayal of a pregnant teen who makes a new start far fr

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Annihilation (2017)
2.
 Jane Got a Gun (2016)
3.
 Planetarium (2016)
4.
 Knight of Cups (2016)
5.
 Jackie (2016)
6.
 Lawless (2014)
8.
9.
 Your Highness (2011)
10.
 Thor (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Israel
1988:
Moved with family first to Washington, DC, then to Connecticut
1991:
Was discovered by a modeling scout in a Long Island, New York pizza parlor
:
Began acting with the Usdan Theatre Arts Camp
1993:
Stage debut as an understudy in the off-Broadway musical "Ruthless;" Britney Spears was also in this play
1994:
Made impressive film debut in Luc Besson's "The Professional"
1995:
Played Al Pacino's troubled stepdaughter in "Heat"
1996:
Co-starred in "Beautiful Girls"; also appeared in Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You" and Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!"
1997:
Made Broadway debut as the title character in "The Diary of Anne Frank"
1999:
Played the young Queen in George Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace"
1999:
Starred opposite Susan Sarandon in "Anywhere But Here"
2000:
Starred as a pregnant 17-year-old who is abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in "Where the Heart Is"
2001:
Returned to the stage as co-star of the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of "The Seagull"; directed by Mike Nichols
2002:
Reprised role of Queen Amidala in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"
2003:
Starred with Nicole Kidman and Jude law in "Cold Mountain"
2004:
Cast in Zach Braff's directorial debut "Garden State"
2004:
Joined an ensemble cast in Mike Nichols' adaptation of the Patrick Marber play "Closer"; earned an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actress
2005:
Reprised role of Queen Amidala in "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith"
2006:
Starred in the Wachowski brothers' "V for Vendetta" based on the acclaimed graphic novel by author Alan Moore
2006:
Co-starred as one of two woman brought together by circumstance in Amos Gitai's "Free Zone"
:
Will join Rachel Weisz and Jude Law to star in director Wong Kar-Wai's "My Blueberry Nights"
2007:
Portrayed Goya's muse, who is falsely accused of heresy in Milos Forman's "Goya's Ghosts"
2007:
Played a woman who inherits a magical toyshop in "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium," co-starred opposite Dustin Hoffman
2008:
Portrayed Anne Boleyn, opposite Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn in "The Other Boleyn Girl"
2008:
Formed own production company, HandsomeCharlie Films
2008:
Made directorial debut with the short film, "Eve," starring Lauren Bacall and Ben Gazzara; premiered at the Venice Film Festival
2009:
Co-starred with Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal in Jim Sheridan's remake of "Brothers"
2010:
Played a tortured ballet dancer in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead ("Black Swan")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture ¿ Drama ("Black Swan")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role ("Black Swan")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture ¿ Drama
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
2011:
Co-starred with Danny McBride in the fantasy comedy, "Your Highness"
2011:
Cast as a scientist named Jane Foster in Kenneth Branagh's big-screen adaptation of "Thor"
2013:
Reprised her role as Jane Foster in "Thor: The Dark World"
2015:
Starred in the western drama "Jane Got a Gun"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Syosset High School: Syosset , New York - 1999
Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 2003

Notes

"I'm going to college. I don't care if it ruins my career. I'd rather be smart than a movie star."---Potman quoted in USA Today, November 14, 1994.

"I think school is so much harder than real life. People are so much more accepting when they are adults."---Natalie Portman quoted in Premiere 1995

"I don't know if I'll ever be able to do nudity in film, and certainly not when I'm 14. I just hope for the girl who's in it [newcomer Dominique Swain] that they keep it as a look in this man's head, and don't make it a sexy thing."---Portman on turning down the title role in Adrian Lyne's "Lolita" to Entertainment Weekly, January 26, 1996.

"The scenes with her were the scenes I looked forward to the most, because I knew there would be real clarity coming from her. She knew what she wanted, but she was also extremely free in the choices she made. Every take was different. Some people do the same thing over and over again, but Natalie really listens, so if I did something different in take two, she made these beautiful adjustments. To do that at the age of 44 is extraordinary, but at 13 ... "---Co-star Timothy Hutton on working with Portman in "Beautiful Girls" as quoted in Vanity Fair, May 1999.

"She has this kind of unembarrassed idealism... I really love the fact that this queen is a young woman. Young girls don't have that kind of role model in their life, in real life or reflected on film. Girls are losing a lot of confidence in themselves as the years go on. They become much more worried about their looks than their intelligence, their personality, their kindness, their souls."---Portman on Queen Amidala, her character in "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" to Boston Herald, May 17, 1999.

"I never do more than two projects a year. I like it like that. I don't think I have the capacity to move from one thing to the other too quickly... I need three months to recharge before I can take on another role."---Portman to Peter Sarsgaard her co-star in "Garden State" in Interview July 2004

"I'm trying to just have a little bit more fun and not be so measured."---Portman to Biography, Summer 2004.

"I just feel that I have a different life experience from anyone I know. I definitely had a period where I was conformist, the high school years when you just want to fit in. But at the same time, as an artist, you want to keep things strange. It's comforting to be different, because you look at the world from such a different perspective than other people. And that's what makes art, a unique perspective."---Portman to Premiere, March, 2005.

"She's magic, she's funny, she's cute, she's sexy, she's intelligent, her beauty is aberrant. When you look at her, you just get it. She can go all the way."---producer Joel Silver on Portman, as quoted in W, May 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Lukas Haas. Actor. Met in 1996 while working on "Everyone Says I Love You"; reportedly dating in 2001.
companion:
Gael Garcia Bernal. Actor. Rumored to have dated in 2004; no longer together.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Avner. Fertility specialist.
mother:
Shelley. Artist.

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