Natalie Portman (born Natalie Hershlag; Hebrew: נטע-לי הרשלג; June 9, 1981) is an Israeli-born American actress, director and producer. Prolific in film since a teenager, she has starred in blockbusters and also played psychologically troubled women in independent films, for which she has received various accolades, including an Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. She made her film debut at age 12 by starring as the young protégée of a hitman in Luc Besson’s action drama film Léon: The Professional (1994), with Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and Danny Aiello.
Other films in the mid to late 1990s include Michael Mann’s Heat (1995), with Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Jon Voight, and Val Kilmer; Beautiful Girls (1996), with Matt Dillon, Noah Emmerich, Lauren Holly, Timothy Hutton, Rosie O’Donnell, Martha Plimpton, Michael Rapaport, Mira Sorvino, and Uma Thurman; Everyone Says I Love You (1996), with Alan Alda, Woody Allen (who also directed), Drew Barrymore, Lukas Haas, Goldie Hawn, Gaby Hoffmann, Natasha Lyonne, Edward Norton, Julia Roberts, Tim Roth, and David Ogden Stiers; Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! (1996), with Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Lukas Haas, Pam Grier, Jim Brown, Lisa Marie, and Sylvia Sidney; and Wayne Wang’s Anywhere But Here (1999), with Susan Sarandon, Bonnie Bedelia, Shawn Hatosy, and Hart Bochner.
Portman gained international fame after appearing in George Lucas’s Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (1999, 2003, 2005), collectively featuring Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christopher Lee. From 1999 to 2003, she attended Harvard University for a bachelor’s degree in psychology, while also appearing in The Public Theater’s 2001 revival of Anton Chekhov’s play The Seagull.
Portman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Mike Nichols’s Closer (2004), with Roberts, Jude Law, and Clive Owen. Other films in the early 2000s include Where the Heart Is (2000), with Stockard Channing, Judd, Joan Cusack, James Frain, Dylan Bruno, Keith David, and Sally Field; Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain (2003), with Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins, Brendan Gleeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack White, Giovanni Ribisi, Donald Sutherland, and Ray Winstone; Garden State (2004), with Zach Braff (who also directed), Peter Sarsgaard, and Ian Holm; and Amos Gitai’s Free Zone (2005), with Hiam Abbass and Hanna Laslo.
Films in the mid to late 2000s include V for Vendetta (2006), with Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, and John Hurt; Miloš Forman’s Goya’s Ghost (2007), with Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård, Randy Quaid, and Unax Ugalde; Wong Kar-wai’s My Blueberry Nights (2007), with Norah Jones, Law, David Strathairn, and Rachel Weisz; a cameo in Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited (2007), with Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, and Anjelica Huston; Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007), with Dustin Hoffman and Jason Bateman; The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), with Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Kristin Scott Thomas, Mark Rylance, and David Morrissey; and Jim Sheridan’s Brothers (2009), with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Shepard, Clifton Collins Jr., and Mare Winningham.
Portman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010), with Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder. Other films in the 2010s include Hesher (2011), with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie, and John Carroll Lynch; The Other Woman (2011), with Scott Cohen, Charlie Tahan, Lauren Ambrose, and Lisa Kudrow; Ivan Reitman’s No String’s Attached (2011), with Ashton Kutcher, Cary Elwes, Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Lake Bell, Olivia Thirlby, Chris Bridges, Jake Johnson, Mindy Kaling, and Talia Balsam; and David Gordon Green’s Your Highness (2011), with Danny McBride, James Franco, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Theroux, Damian Lewis, and Toby Jones.
Portman is also well known for her role as Jane Foster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Kenneth Branagh’s Thor (2011), with Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Skarsgård, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins; Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World (2013), with Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Hopkins, Skarsgård, Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, and Russo; and Taika Waititi Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), with Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Alexander, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, and Jeff Goldblum.
Portman made her feature directorial debut with A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015), which was nominated for the Golden Camera Award at Cannes Film Festival. She received another Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie (2016), with Sarsgaard, Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and Hurt. Other films in the late 2010s include Jane Got a Gun (2016), with Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich, Rodrigo Santoro, Boyd Holbrook, and McGregor; Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups (2016), with Bale, Cate Blanchett, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, and Ryan O’Neal; and Rebecca Zlotowski’s Planetarium (2016), with Lily-Rose Depp, Louis Garrel, and Emmanuel Salinger.
More films in the mid to late 2010s include Malick’s Song to Song (2017), with Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Blanchett, Val Kilmer, and Holly Hunter; Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018), with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac; Vox Lux (2018), with Law, Raffey Cassidy, Stacy Martin, and Jennifer Ehle; Lucy in the Sky (2019), with Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens, Colman Domingo, and Ellen Burstyn; and The Death & Life of John F. Donovan (2019), with Kit Harington, Jacob Tremblay, Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Thandiwe Newton, Ben Schnetzer, and Jared Keeso.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Léon: The Professional (1994) – directed by Luc Besson
- Developing (1994) – directed by Marya Cohn – short
- Heat (1995) – directed by Michael Mann
- Beautiful Girls (1996) – directed by Ted Demme
- Everyone Says I Love You (1996) – directed by Woody Allen
- Mars Attacks! (1996)* – directed by Tim Burton
- Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)* – directed by George Lucas
- Anywhere But Here (1999) – directed by Wayne Wang
- Where the Heart Is (2000) – directed by Matt Williams
- Zoolander (2001)* – directed by Ben Stiller – cameo as herself
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)* – directed by George Lucas
- Cold Mountain (2003) – directed by Anthony Minghella
- Garden State (2004)* – directed by Zach Braff
- True (2004) – directed by Tom Tykwer – short
- Closer (2004) – directed by Mike Nichols
- Domino One (2005) – directed by Nick Louvel
- Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)* – directed by George Lucas
- Free Zone (2005) – directed by Amos Gitai
- V for Vendetta (2006) – directed by James McTeigue
- Paris, je t’aime (2006)- directed by Emmanuel Benbihy, Joel & Ethan Coen, Nobuhiro Suwa, Olivier Assayas, Gus Van Sant, Gurinder Chadha, Frédéric Auburtin & Gérard Depardie, Sylvain Chomet, Vincenzo Natali, Richard LaGravenese, Tom Tykwer, Isabel Coixet Castillo, Christopher Doyle, Alexander Payne, Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas, Alfonso Cuarón, Bruno Podalydès, Oliver Schmitz, & Wes Craven – anthology
- Goya’s Ghost (2006) – directed by Miloš Forman
- Hotel Chevalier (2007) – directed by Wes Anderson – short
- The Darjeeling Limited (2007) – directed by Wes Anderson – cameo
- Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007)* – directed by Zach Helm
- The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) – directed by Justin Chadwick
- New York, I Love You (2009) – directed by Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Randall Balsmeyer, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Jiang Wen, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, & Brett Ratner – also director – anthology
- Brothers (2009) – directed by Jim Sheridan
- I’m Still Here (2010) – directed by Casey Affleck – cameo as herself
- Black Swan (2010)* – directed by Darren Aronofsky
- Hesher (2011) – directed by Spencer Susser – also producer
- The Other Woman (2011) – directed by Don Roos – also executive producer
- No Strings Attached (2011) – directed by Ivan Reitman – also executive producer
- Your Highness (2011)* – directed by David Gordon Green
- Thor (2011)* – directed by Kenneth Branagh
- Dior: Miss Dior (2011) – directed by Sofia Coppola – short
- Dior: Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet (2013) – directed by by Sofia Coppola – short
- Illusions & Mirrors (2013) – directed by Shirin Neshat – short
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)* – directed by Alan Taylor
- Dior: Miss Dior (2015) – directed by Anton Corbijn – short
- The Seventh Fire (2015) – directed by Jack Pettibone Riccobono – executive producer only – documentary
- A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015) – also director, writer
- Jane Got a Gun (2016) – directed by Gavin O’Connor – also producer
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – directed by Burr Steers – producer only
- Knight of Cups (2016) – directed by Terrence Malick
- Planetarium (2016) – directed by Rebecca Zlotowski
- Jackie (2016) – directed by Pablo Larraín
- Song to Song (2017) – directed by Terence Malick
- The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards (2017) – directed by Ryan Moody, Mark Columbus, Sarah Kruchowski, Shadae Lamar Smith, Vanita Shastry, Simon Savelyev, & Jeremy David White – anthology
- Dior: Miss Dior – What would you do for love? (2017) – directed by Emanuel Cossu – short
- Annihilation (2018) – directed by Alex Garland
- Vox Lux (2018) – directed by Brady Corbet – also executive producer
- Avengers: Endgame (2019) – directed by Anthony & Joe Russo – archive footage from Thor: The Dark World and new voice-over
- Lucy in the Sky (2019) – directed by Noah Hawley
- The Death & Life of John F. Donovan (2019) – directed by Xavier Dolan
- Dolphin Reef (2020) – directed by Alastair Fothergill & Keith Scholey – narrator – documentary
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – directed by Taika Waititi