Did you know Natalie Portman has a near genius level IQ? Could she be more perfect? We don’t think so. She is beautiful, talented, and graduated from Harvard. While she has spent most of her life in the spotlight, we found some intimate facts and details you probably wouldn’t have guessed about her and her life. So, do you want to know some cool facts about Ms. Portman? Read on!
She Was Born In Israel
Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel, on June 9, 1981, but grew up in the United States. She is a dual-citizen of both countries. Many of her family members died in the Holocaust including her paternal great-grandparents who were killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Discovered in A Pizza Parlor
Natalie was discovered by a Revlon beauty scout when she was 9 years old. She turned down the offer for a modeling contract and instead decided to focus on acting.
She Is A Smart Cookie
Natalie is basically a genius. She has an IQ of 140! She also graduated with honors from Harvard in 2003 with an A.B. in psychology. She stated in an interview, “I’m going to college. I don’t care if it ruined my career. I’d rather be smart than a movie star.”
V For Vegan
Natalie started a vegetarian diet when she was only 8 years old! She became a strict vegan in 2009. Her favorite food is tofu and black beans. She has stated in many interviews she feels and looks much better as a vegan.
She Speaks 6 Languages
Did you know Natalie Portman speaks 6 languages? She is fluent in Hebrew, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. She even has some videos online teaching Hebrew slang!
Married The Choreographer
Natalie began dating ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied after the two met on the set of the Black Swan. He was the choreographer. Since then they have gotten married and have one baby boy together.
She’s Directing and Writing
Portman made her directorial debut in 2015 with the film A Tale of Love and Darkness. She began working on an adaptation of Israeli author Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel in 2013. She directed, acted and wrote for the film.
Natalie Portman Is Not Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is actually just her stage name. It is her paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Her real name is Natalie Hershlag.
New York, I Love You
One of Natalie’s most unique films is the 2008 romantic comedy-drama anthology: New York, I Love you. It consists of 11 short films which were directed by a different director. All the short films are related to love and New York City. Natalie does an absolutely amazing job in the film!
Born to Dance
Natalie started dancing when she was only 4 years old. This helped her train and prepare for her role in Black Swan. Despite all the preparation, Portman experienced a number of injuries on the set including breaking a rib.
Black Swan Drama
On the set of Black Swan, the director Darren Aronofsky wanted to start a bit of drama. He would fuel competition between Mila Kunis and Natalie in order to make their scenes more real. He would also separate them for days so they wouldn’t know the progress of the other.
Did you know Natalie and Britney Spears are friends? They were both once understudies for an off-Broadway play called Ruthless! They also hosted a New Year’s party together in 2002 in Manhattan.
Natalie has a really cool production company called Handsomecharlie Films. Its aim is to create more roles for women by women. They focus on comedies. We think this is awesome!
Related To a Spy
This is pretty cool! One of Portman’s great-grandmothers worked as a spy during World War 2. She was a spy for the English army.
She Worked With A Beatle
Natalie made her music video debut for Paul McCartney’s song My Valentine. Another very famous actor also appeared: Johnny Depp!
One Is Not Like The Others
Natalie Portman stated in an interview, “different from the other kids. I was more ambitious. I knew what I liked and what I wanted, and I worked very hard. I was a very serious kid.”
Thank You For Not Smoking
Natalie Portman’s parents had strict guidelines for her roles when she was a child and teenager. For example, her parents were very concerned about her role as Matilda in “The Professional.” Her parents negotiated that there would only be 5 smoking scenes with the director, and Natalie herself would never be seen inhaling or exhaling from a cigarette.
This is pretty interesting! Natalie actually couldn’t attend the premiere of the 1999 “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” She stayed home so she could study for her high school final exams.
When she was just starting her acting career, Natalie Portman was an understudy for the off-Broadway show “Ruthless.” So was Britney Spears and the two became fast friends!
The Diary of Anne Frank
Natalie said no to a role in “The Horse Whisperer” to accept a role on Broadway in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Scarlett Johansson took the role in “The Horse Whisperer.”
Natalie famously got her B.A. from Harvard. After accepting some more acting roles, she enrolled at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for graduate courses.
Natalie auditioned for the role of Juliet in “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” She did a great job, but the producers thought she was too young to star opposite Leonardo Dicaprio. Juliet ended up going to Claire Danes.
Natalie Portman is so gorgeous! Back in 2006, she appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine wearing the original black dress Audrey Hepburn wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Natalie Portman is known for her great sense of humor and excellent job performing in comedic roles. Natalie Portman hosted Saturday Night Live in 2006, and in a short, she portrays herself as an angry rapper saying she cheated at Harvard University while high on marijuana and cocaine!
5 Movies, 2 Years
2007 was crazy for Natalie Portman! She filmed 5 movies! They include ‘Goya’s Ghosts,’ ‘Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,’ ‘My Blueberry Nights,’ ‘ The Darjeeling Limited’ and ‘The Other Boleyn Girl.’
V for Vendetta
Natalie Portman went all out for her role in “V for Vendetta.” She shaved her head and worked with a voice coach to speak with an English accent.
In the film, “Closer” Natalie plays Alice, an American stripper who meets Dan (played by Jude Law) and they begin dating. She did such a great job in this film she won a Golden Globe and received an Oscar nomination.
When on the set of “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” Natalie met a five-year-old girl who has Bloom syndrome. Bloom syndrome is a genetic disorder which can increase sufferers risk of cancer and infection. Natalie was so touched by meeting the girl she organized a fashion auction to help raise money for research on the disease. Very noble, Natalie!
She appeared in Paul McCartney’s music video “Dance Tonight” from his 2007 album Memory Almost Full, directed by Michel Gondry.
She is close friends with Rashida Jones, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mila Kunis and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Black Swan came out in 2010 and it was epic! She did such an amazing job she earned her first Academy Award for her role. She also earned a Golden Globe, SAG Award, and BFCA Award.
Married With Children
Natalie Portman met her husband on the set of Black Swan. The two announced their engagement in 2010. She gave birth to their son, Aleph Portman-Millepied in 2011.
Money, Money, Money
Natalie Portman is one of the highest paid female actresses in Hollywood. Her net worth is about $45 million.
Natalie Portman’s parents actually met at a Jewish student center at Ohio State University. Her father returned to Israel after studying, and the two were married years later.
While at Harvard, Natalie worked as a research assistant for a famous lawyer named Alan Dershowitz. She helped him on a book he was writing.
Youngest Member of Cannes
Natalie Portman served as the youngest member of the Cannes Film Festival jury at the 61st Annual Cannes Festival in 2008.
Natalie Portman did an amazing job when she portrayed Jackie Kennedy in “Jackie.” She was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Award, and won an Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actress.
Natalie Portman has pretty cool parents. Her mother is American and works as her agent, while her father is an Israeli fertility specialist and gynecologist.
Natalie Portman’s entire family is Jewish. Her maternal grandparents, Bernice and Arthur Stevens, were from Austria and Russia. Her paternal grandparents, Mania and Zvi Yehuda Hershlag, moved to the USA from Israel.
Natalie learned to speak Hebrew when in school. She attended a Jewish elementary school and at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County in Jericho, New York.
Natalie Portman appeared in a music video for the folk singer Devendra Banhart. They started dating after it was filmed but separated in 2008.
Portman and Benjamin Millepied in 2009 gave birth to her daughter Amalia, on February 22, 2017.
Where Does She Live?
The Portman Family currently lives on Long Island, New York. Natalie also owns a home in London, England.
Why Is She Veg?
Natalie became a vegetarian when she was only 8 because she witnessed a demonstration of laser surgery on a chicken while attending a medical conference with her father. She became vegan later on and she will not wear fur or any other clothing made from animals. In 2007 she actually launched her own brand of vegan footwear. We want a pair!
She Speaks Her Mind
While Natalie Portman attended Harvard, she was a resident of the Lowell House. She wrote a letter to the independent school paper, the Harvard Crimson, in response to an essay they published that was critical of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Did you know not one, but two of her research papers were published in scientific journals?! One of her papers from high school entitled, “A Simple Method to Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar,” which she co-authored with scientists Ian Hurley and Jonathan Woodward, was entered in the Intel Science Talent Search. The second time was in 2002. Natalie contributed to a memory study called, “Frontal lobe activation during object permanence: data from near-infrared spectroscopy” while she was a student at Harvard.
She’s A Music Muse!
Natalie has been called a muse quite a few times. Besides inspiring fashion lines, the band ‘Team Sleep’ has a song named ‘Natalie Portman.’
No Hair, Don’t Care
Natalie Portman famously shaved her head for her role in “V for Vendetta.” When she was traveling in Ireland, she was refused at a bed and breakfast because she had no hair. The owners allegedly wouldn’t even allow her on the porch! Can you believe that?
She’s A Little Camera Shy
Natalie has never liked doing nude scenes. She hesitantly shot one for the film “Closer.” She and the film’s director, Mike Nichols agreed to not use it. Natalie was relieved!
Natalie was hesitant to take the role as Queen Amidala due to the extra attention she thought she would receive from fans. She said in an interview with People magazine, “I thought it would be awful.” She continued, “But I can still walk down the street alone and not worry about anyone accosting me.”
Christina Ricci Gets Her Roles
Natalie was offered to play Wendy in “The Ice Storm” in 1997 but said no. She thought the material was “too dark.” The role ended up going to Christina Ricci. Ricci has stated in interviews she often gets roles that Natalie turns down.
She Has A Big Heart
Natalie earned VH1’s “Do Something Award” back in 2010. She was honored for her humanitarian work.
Back in 1997, Natalie played the role of Anne Frank in the Broadway adaption of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
Her Family Survived The Holocaust
Natalie’s paternal grandparents have quite the story. Her grandfather, Zvi Yehuda Hershalg was born in Poland in 1914. His parents died at Auschwitz. He moved to Israel in 1938 and became an economics professor.
She Moved To The USA When She Was 3
Natalie was born in Jerusalem. In 1984 when she was just three, her family moved her to the USA.
Not many people know this, but Natalie actually studied ballet and modern dance at the American Theater Dance Workshop in New Hyde Park, New York. She also attended the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights. She stated in interviews growing up dancing helped her with her role in “Black Swan.”
She Lectured at Columbia
Natalie was a guest lecturer at Columbia University! Wow! She spoke about terrorism and V for Vendetta at the prestigious university back in 2006.
She Has A Celeb Crush
Yep, she has a favorite actor! It is English actor Ben Kingsley. He is extremely talented and has had such an amazing career. We like your pick, Natalie!
Back in 2001, Portman opened in New York City’s Public Theater production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. It was directed by Mike Nichols and she had quite the all-star castmates! She acted alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Black Swan Training Was Intense!
In order to prepare for her role in “Black Swan,” she went through five to eight hours of dance training each day for six months. She reportedly lost 20 pounds (9 kg)! Yikes!
No Strings Attached
Natalie Portman is one of few actresses who can play in a variety of roles in different genres. She did a great job when co-starred in the 2011 film No Strings Attached, alongside Ashton Kutcher.
A Jewish Family
Natalie’s husband stated in 2014 he was converting to Judaism. In 2006 Natalie stated she very much wanted to raise her children Jewish. She stated, “A priority for me is definitely that I’d like to raise my kids Jewish, but the ultimate thing is to have someone who is a good person and who is a partner.”
She Lives In Paris
When her husband accepted a position to direct dance at the Paris Opera Ballet, the couple moved to Paris in 2013. Natalie stated she wanted to become a French citizen and loved Paris! In 2016 the family moved from Paris to Los Angeles.
Natalie’s all time favorite color is green. You can often see her rock beautiful green dresses on the red carpet. We think she looks great in green!
High Fashion Muse
Natalie has been modeling quite a bit in recent years. She is very in demand in high fashion and is regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Famous fashion designer Zac Posen refers to her as his muse! We’re kind of jealous.
The World Patrol Kids
Did you know Natalie was a member of an environmental song and dance troupe? It was called The World Patrol Kids. She performed under her real name, Natalie Hershlag.
Natalie knew from a young age acting was something she loved doing. She spent three summers at the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Camp growing up.