Natalie Portman (born Natalie Hershlag June 9, 1981) is an Israeli-American actress.
Portman began her career in the early 1990s, turning down the opportunity to become a child model in favor of acting.
Her first role came in the 1994 independent film Léon.
She became well known when she was cast as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
Portman, who stated that she would "...rather be smart than be a movie star," completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at
Harvard College while she was working on the Star Wars films.
She said in a 1999 interview that, with the exception of the Star Wars prequels, she would not act for the next four years in order to concentrate on studying.
During the summer break, from June to September 2000, Portman filmed Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in Sydney, including additional production in London.
In July 2001, Portman opened in New York City's Public Theater production of Chekhov's The Seagull, directed by Mike Nichols,
playing the role of Nina alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The play opened at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
That same year, she was one of many celebrities who made cameo appearances in the comedy Zoolander.
In 2002, the film opened around the world. Portman was cast in a small role in the film Cold Mountain alongside Jude Law and Nicole Kidman.
2005 saw the worldwide release of the final Star Wars prequel, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on May 19.
The film was the highest grossing film of the year, and was voted Favorite Motion Picture at the People's Choice Awards.
Shortly before the film's opening, Portman shaved her head for her role in the film adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel V for Vendetta, released in March 2006.
Her shaved head was first seen publicly at the Revenge of the Sith premieres.
"Making a dramatic change that isn't reversible is always a worthy experience", she said of the drastically different hairstyle,
"and that sort of gave me the courage to do it."
She kept her hair short for most of 2005, had a fauxhawk, and briefly sported a full mohawk in late August, saying that it was "kind of wonderful to throw vanity
away for a bit".
V for Vendetta opened in early 2006. Portman portrayed Evey Hammond, a young woman who is saved from the secret police by the main character, V.
Portman worked with a voice coach for the role, learning to speak with an English accent, and had her head shaved.
Maxim magazine named Portman #33 on its annual Hot 100 list, citing her V for Vendetta hairstyle as a huge accomplishment proving "you don't need hair to be hot."
Portman has commented on V for Vendetta's political relevance, and mentioned that her character, who joins an underground anti-government group,
is "often bad and does things that you don't like" and that "Being from Israel was a reason I wanted to do this because terrorism and violence are such a daily part of
my conversations since I was little." She said the film "doesn't make clear good or bad statements.
It respects the audience enough to take away their own opinion".
Portman starred in the children's film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which began filming in April 2006 and was released in November 2007;
she has said that she was "excited to do a kids' movie."
In late 2006, Portman filmed The Other Boleyn Girl, a historical drama in which she plays Anne Boleyn; Eric Bana and Scarlett Johansson co-starred in the film.
She was also named one of the hottest women of film and TV by Blender Magazine.
In 2006, she filmed Wong Kar-wai's road movie My Blueberry Nights. She won acclaim for her role as gambler Leslie, because "for once she's not playing a waif or a
child princess but a mature, full-bodied woman,...but she's not coasting on her looks;...She uses her appeal to simultaneously flirt with and taunt the gambler across
Portman had a small role in the 18th season of The Simpsons as the voice of Bart Simpson's first girlfriend, Darcy.
She also appears in Paul McCartney's music video "Dance Tonight" from his 2007 album Memory Almost Full, directed by Michel Gondry.
Portman co-starred in the Wes Anderson short film Hotel Chevalier, opposite Jason Schwartzman, in which she performed her first nude scene.
She is scheduled to star opposite Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal in the drama film Brothers, a remake of the 2004 Danish film of the same name.
In May 2008 Portman served as the youngest member of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival jury.
For a wondrous adventure, check out her films!