Natalie Hershlag (born June 9, 1981), better known by her stage name Natalie Portman, is an Israeli-American actress. Her first role was as an orphan taken in by a hitman in the 1994 French action film Léon. During the 1990s, Portman had major roles in films like Beautiful Girls and Anywhere but Here, before being cast for the role as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In 1999, she enrolled at Harvard University to study psychology while she was working on the Star Wars films. She completed her bachelor's degree in 2003.
n 2001, Portman opened in New York City's Public Theater production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 2005, Portman received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture for the drama Closer. She shaved her head and learned to speak with an English accent for her starring role in V for Vendetta (2006), for which she won a Constellation Award for Best Female Performance, and a Saturn Award for Best Actress. She played leading roles in the historical dramas Goya's Ghosts (2006) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). In May 2008, she served as the youngest member of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival jury. Portman's directorial debut, Eve, opened the 65th Venice International Film Festival's shorts competition in 2008.
In 2011, Portman won the Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Black Swan. She is engaged to ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied.
In the May 2002 issue of Vogue, Portman called actor/musician Lukas Haas and musician Moby her close friends. After starring in the video for his song "Carmensita," she began a relationship with American folk singer Devendra Banhart, which ended in September 2008. She met ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied in late 2009, on the set of her film Black Swan, for which Millepied acted as choreographer. By at least New Year's Eve 2009, the two had begun dating. On December 27, 2010, a Portman representative told the press that Portman and Millepied are engaged and expecting a child, due in the summer of 2011.
On the concept of the afterlife, Portman has said, "I don't believe in that. I believe this is it, and I believe it's the best way to live." She has said that she feels more Jewish in Israel and that she would like to raise her children in the Jewish religion: "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."
Social & Political Causes
Portman, who is an advocate for animal rights, has been a vegetarian since childhood. She became a vegan in 2009 after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. She does not eat animal products or wear fur, feathers, or leather. "All of my shoes are from Target and Stella McCartney," she has said. In 2007, she launched her own brand of vegan footwear
Portman is a supporter of the Democratic Party, and in the 2004 presidential race she campaigned for the Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry. In the 2008 presidential election, Portman supported Senator Hillary Clinton of New York in the Democratic primaries. She later campaigned for the eventual Democratic nominee, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, during the general election. However, in a 2008 interview, she also said: "I even like John McCain. I disagree with his war stance — which is a really big deal — but I think he's a very moral person.