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Natalie Portman is one of my favorite actresses; not because she is stunningly beautiful or because she is a chameleon for her roles (although I love those things about her), but because she doesn’t fit into the stereotype of a young Hollywood actress at all. There are no Natalie Portman sex tapes, reports of drug overdoses or alcohol abuse, or topless photos stolen from her hacked cell phone. Heck, you’d be hard-pressed just to find a picture of her in a one-piece swimsuit on the beach with her fiancé, dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, and their one-year-old son, Aleph.
At 31 years old, Portman has the face and body of a young woman nearing her twenties, yet her maturity coupled with academic and career success also gets her lumped with much older actresses.
"It's very strange because my physical traits sometimes make it difficult for others to consider me a woman, and at the same time I have been in the business for so long that many think I have already passed the 40 year mark,” Portman said, laughing.
Portman’s breakout role was as Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace, which she filmed as a teenager. Since then, she has starred in many notable movies, such as the The Closer, The Other Boleyn Girl, Garden State, V for Vendetta, and Black Swan. Portman has also won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in Closer; and an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Independent Spirit Award, and the BAFTA Award for her leading role in the ballet drama Black Swan. In other words, she has a knack for picking her roles wisely – and then killing them.
Just as notable – if not more so – as Portman’s career success is her dedication to her education. While still filming the Star Wars movies, Portman enrolled herself in Harvard University, moved into the dorms, and worked toward a degree in psychology. She completed that degree in 2003. If the whole acting thing begins to bore her, she has another awesome career to fall back on.
Regarding being considered an intellectual in Hollywood, Portman has this to say: "It is a matter of context. In Hollywood, they consider me a smart woman, but in other circles, I'm probably seen as a silly actress (laughs). In America, they see me as European. In Europe, some see me as maybe a stupid American (laughs)."
Portman clearly works hard at everything she does, which is her way of showing her gratitude for the opportunities she has been given.
"I have always considered myself extremely lucky,” Portman told Madame Figaro magazine regarding her success as an actress. “I know very well that there are very few elected officials in this business and that many of us, despite their talent and hard work, will not come out of the lot. These are the laws of chance."