Number Seven: Natalie Portman Is Best Friends With Rashida Jones
The two talented beauties have been BFFs for many years now. They both went to Harvard and they starred together on a Funny or Die video back in 2008. Natalie has said of her life-long friend that “she would fight beasts 10 times her size to protect the people she loves. She is the kind of friend who can sub in and love you through the times when you can’t necessarily love yourself.”
Number Six: She’s Multilingual
Apart from being fluent in both English and Hebrew, Natalie speaks some French (which she has been perfecting since she moved to Paris with French husband Benjamin Millepied in 2014), Spanish, German and Japanese. Impressive!
Number Five: She Almost Turned Down Her Debuting Role in ‘The Professional’
She was only 13 when she got cast to play Mathilda alongside French actor Jean Reno in Léon: the Professional. She admitted to having been moved to tears after first reading the script, but her parents weren’t so happy about her getting the part, which they believed to be inappropriate for such a young girl. In fact, director Luc Besson was originally looking for a slightly older actress to play Mathilda, but he just couldn’t let Natalie go after seeing her impressive casting audition, so he made a few changes in order to downgrade the story’s sexual undertones.
Number Four: Starring in ‘Star Wars’ Nearly Ruined Her Acting Career
As Portman recalls, “Star Wars had come out and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me.” However, Natalie ended up being much luckier than her co-star, Hayden Christensen and got back on the right track when director Anthony Minghella cast her in his American Civil War drama, Cold Mountain.
Number Three: She Was Very School-Focused
A straight-A student, Natalie used to be so concerned about her education she actually missed the New York premiere for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999 because she had to study hard for her high school finals. She graduated soon afterwards from Syosset High School, in Long Island.
Number Two: She Is Actually a Great Dancer
Portman took ballet lessons a long time before Darren Aronofsky’s psychological drama Black Swan came out in 2010. The actress was involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities while in school, including jazz and ballet. Her already knowing the basics of ballet dancing lead her to accept the physically demanding role of Nina Sayers in the Oscar-winning Swan Lake production.
Number One: She Has Lived Almost Everywhere
Natalie Portman is a sort of modern nomad. So far she has lived in Israel, Washington DC, Long Island, Los Angeles, England, Massachusetts and Paris, where she is currently based with her husband and son.