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Natalie Portman BiographyNatalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel, to Avner, a fertility specialist, and Shelley, an artist. At the age of three she moved to Washington, DC, but soon relocated to Syosset, New York, where she spent the rest of her childhood. At the age of 11 she was spotted by an agent searching for a child model, which started off her acting career. six months later at age 12, she debuted in the critically acclaimed film The Professional, directed by Luc Besson.
Although the movie was a huge hit, it caused her family some problems due to her Lolita-esque role. She then landed supporting roles in Heat, Everyone Says I Love You, Beautiful Girls, and Mars Attacks!. Afterwards, she concentrated on high school in Syosset, where she was a straight-A student. She acted only during the summer.
Portman became a leading lady when she landed the role of Queen/Senator Amidala for Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III. This helped her win roles in such films as Anywhere But Here and Where the Heart Is. She has also had a successful stage career, appearing in such plays as "The Seagull" and "The Diary of Anne Frank."
She is now in working on her acting career and attending Harvard University, where she is studying to be a psychologist. She says that her future in acting will become very selective due to her choice to pursue psychology as a working career.
TriviaTurned down a role in The Horse Whisperer (1998) to act in "The Diary of Anne Frank" on Broadway. Has been a vegetarian since the age of 8. Says that math was her favorite subject in school "because there's always an answer." Can speak two languages, Hebrew and English (her native languages), fluently. Also knows some conversational French, German, and Japanese and Spanish. Was a member of the environmental song and dance troupe The World Patrol Kids under her real name, Natalie Hershlag. She went to Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Camp in 1994 and 1995 where she was Anne in "Anne of Green Gables" in 1994 and "Tapestry" in 1995. David Letterman and Harpers and Queen magazines said that she is "the new Audrey Hepburn". Before she was cast in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999), she had never seen the original 3 Star Wars movies. Turned down the role of Wendy in The Ice Storm (1997) because she felt the material was "too dark." The role went to Christina Ricci, who has said she often gets the projects Natalie turns down. Has said in interviews that when she gets older, she would like to be a doctor like her father. Stated in an on-line interview that the story about sneaking into the Roxy club in Boston to see Moby is not true and that she and her friends went home after they were denied entrance. Her father is a fertility specialist. Became interested in acting after spending three summers at the prestigious (and expensive) Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Camp. Grew up in Syosset, Long Island, New York, where she still resides. Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002. Father's name: Avner. Mother's name: Shelley. Went to Usdan Camp for the arts as a child. As of March 2007, she has appeared on "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993) 11 times. Received her Harvard degree in June of 2003. Favorite actor is Ben Kingsley. She has worked with a several of her co-stars twice: Ashley Judd in Heat (1995) and Where the Heart Is (2000); Lukas Haas in Mars Attacks! (1996) and Everyone Says I Love You (1996); 'Julia Roberts' in Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and Closer (2004/I); Jude Law in Cold Mountain (2003) and Closer (2004/I); Philip Seymour Hoffman in the play The Seagull and Cold Mountain (2003); John Carroll Lynch in Beautiful Girls (1996) and Anywhere But Here (1999). She has also worked for director Mike Nichols on two occasions: for the play The Seagull and Closer (2004/I). Fashion designer Zac Posen refers to her as his "muse." Is close friends with Jake Gyllenhaal and Bryce Dallas Howard. Has a song named after her by the band TeamSleep. She spoofed her role in Star Wars before becoming involved in the series. In Mars Attacks! (1996), she gives a medal to Lukas Haas in a scene resembling the award ceremony at the end of Star Wars (1977). The medals were given out by Princess Leia, the daughter of Portman's future character, Queen Amidala. In addition, the recipients of those medals, Haas and Harrison Ford, appeared together in Witness (1985). Was considered for a role in Elizabethtown (2005). She has worked with two Draculas as well as two Frankenstein monsters. In Léon (1994), she worked with Gary Oldman, who played Dracula for Francis Ford Coppola. In Heat (1995), she appeared with Robert De Niro, who played The Creature for Kenneth Branagh. In Star Wars, she works with Christopher Lee, who played both roles for Hammer studios. Has a song named after her by the band Ozma. She hesitantly shot an explicit nude scene for Closer (2004/I), in the scene where Alice (Portman) strips for Larry (Clive Owen). Ultimately, Portman and director Mike Nichols agreed not to use it, as the scene was effective enough without it. Learned to speak with a British accent for V for Vendetta (2005). Learned how to play the piano and conduct for Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007). Named #49 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005) Several months after shaving her head, she was traveling through Ireland and stopped for directions at a bed and breakfast. The owners refused to allow her even onto their porch. They did, however, give her directions. A radio station once had a contest to find out where she went to school; Backstreet Boys tickets were the prizes. In 1999, magazines reported that Portman started a new trend - wearing logo T-shirts - when they snapped photos of her at her 18th birthday wearing a snug Nesquik shirt. (However, logo T-shirts had already been popular since at least the 1970s) She had borrowed the shirt from her best friend's eight-year-old brother; he was appalled. Occasionally shelters dogs. Said that it was while working on The Seagull (2002) (V) that she became aware that acting is much more about the process than the product. Most helpful was when she would peek over Philip Seymour Hoffman's shoulder at the notebook he kept, in which he wrote questions and then answers about his character's feelings. Was surprised and amused to discover that her apartment in the heart of Kings Cross, London, was across the street from a brothel. For her 2003 New Year's party, she wore a Zac Posen dress that had more than $10,000 worth of crystals sewn onto it. She also attended Moby's much-hyped secret Naked NYE party. Her years at Harvard resulted in the phenomenon of The Natalies, in which every underclasswoman with that first name received numerous e-mails and phone messages from fans. Is a close friend and well-known customer of Zac Posen. Is friends with Jeanine Lobell, founder of Stila cosmetics, and her husband, actor Anthony Edwards. Has been friends with American designer Isaac Mizrahi since she was 14. While in northern Iraq in 2004, the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry hung a giant poster of her in their command hanger after discovering that most of the men in the unit were big fans. Was considered for the role of Jane Austen in Becoming Jane (2007), but the role went to Anne Hathaway. Shelley, her mother, was born on June 9, 1952, and was raised in Cinncinati, Ohio. Avner, her father, was born on September 12, 1951. Director Milos Forman sought her out for an audition after seeing her on the cover of Vogue. He said that she looked like a Goya painting. Listens mostly to R&B, Old School Hip-Hop and 90s Alternative Rock. Some of her favorite groups and artists are A Tribe Called Quest, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, Portishead, Wu Tang Clan, and Nirvana. Unwinds by singing karaoke at Winnie's, a NYC bar in Chinatown. There is a band named after her: Natalie Portman's Shaved Head. Was ranked #2 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actress list.(2008). Was listed as a potential nominee for the 2008 Razzies for Worst Actress, for her performances in Goya's Ghosts (2006) and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007). She didn't make the final ballot. Measurements: 34A-25-35 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine). Worked only briefly with Jason Sarayba in the early development stages of Hesher (2010). Sold her 2,088-square-foot house in Sea Cliff, New York for $1.750 million. She had purchased it in 2002 for $1.375 million.  She paid $3.250 million to purchase a four-bedroom, 4,866-sq.-ft. home in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills area. Previous owners were Dermot Mulroney and Catherine Keener.  Is best friends with Rashida Jones and a close friend of Robert Pattinson. Was originally cast as Catherine Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights (2011), but was replaced by Gemma Arterton, who was later replaced by Kaya Scodelario, after dropping out of the project. Was in consideration for the role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (2010) after Emily Blunt dropped out of the project, but Scarlett Johansson was cast instead.
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