At 34 years old, and after having starred in over 40 movies internationally, Natalie Portman just made her extraordinary full-length directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness. But, don’t be fooled—Natalie is much more than just a Hollywood superstar. Take a look at these 15 facts you (probably) didn’t know about Natalie Portman and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: Natalie Portman Isn’t Her Real Name
She was born Neta-Lee Hershlag, a Hebrew name and surname. She decided to borrow her grandmother’s maiden name, Portman, to be used as her stage name as means to preserve her family’s identity.
Number Fourteen: She Was Born in Israel
The Oscar-winning actress was born in Jerusalem in 1981, to an American mother and Israeli father, making her a dual citizen. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was three, where her dad received further medical training in Washington DC and New York City. Natalie has stated on several occasions that, although she loves America, Jerusalem is where she really feels at home.
Number Thirteen: She Is an Animal Rights Activist
It’s no secret that Portman is an animal and human rights activist. She has been involved in many eco-friendly projects across the planet, and she has been a strict vegetarian since she was eight, as well as an on-and-off vegan since 2009. She is also a pet lover who shelters dogs occasionally.
Number Twelve: Natalie Portman Is a Harvard Graduate
“I’d rather be smart than a movie star” was Natalie’s response to the New York Post when questioned about her decision to enroll in university (though she later on specified that you can, actually, be both). She graduated in 2003 with a degree in Psychology, but that didn’t stop her meteoric acting career. In fact, she filmed two “Star Wars” movies while still in school, which skyrocketed her celebrity status worldwide.
Number Eleven: She’s a ‘Broad City’ Fan
Although she has confessed to being TV-free at her French home in Paris, Natalie is a self-declared Broad City fan. She enjoys watching Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s absurd New York adventures just as much as the rest of us do. “Best show. If you haven’t watched it, watch it”, she told the audience during a TIFF conference last year.
Number Ten: She Enjoys Scuba-Diving
Portman, who loves “extreme” activities (as long as they don’t put her life at serious risk), took diving lessons in Eilat (Israel) years ago. She has since then enjoyed scuba diving whenever her schedule allows for it.
Number Nine: She Loves R&B and Rock
When it comes to music, the multi-talented star almost always has some R&B and old school hip hop, as well as ’90s alternative rock playing on her playlist. She has listed Radiohead, Portishead, and Nirvana as some of her all-time favorite bands.
Number Eight: She Loves Traveling
We bet it’s not that easy for her to travel the world anymore since she gave birth to her first child, in 2011. However, Natalie has always been an avid traveler, and she is known for having gone on solo adventures around Guatemala and Morocco, where she lived in tents and toured the Sahara Desert atop a camel. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!