Israeli-American actress and filmmaker, Natalie Portman, has starred in multiple blockbusters since debuting on-screen at the age of 12, in Leon: The Professional. Portman’s status as a major movie star was cemented when she appeared in the Star Wars prequal trilogy in the late 90s/early 2000s, but her most acclaimed role was playing a disturbed professional ballerina in Black Swan – the performance won her an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Natalie is a renowned animal rights activist and practising vegan. She is also a hugely active supporter of anti-poverty causes and has travelled to Uganda, Guatemala and Ecuador as the Ambassador of Hope for FINCA International, an organisation that helps women-owned businesses in developing countries.
In 2015, Portman brought Israel Prize Laureate, Amos Oz’s memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, to the big screen. Set in Jerusalem, the actress gave one interviewer a passionate explanation for why she decided to film the story in Hebrew, instead of English – “The way words are connected in Hebrew, which has this incredible poetry and magic. It’s obviously almost impossible to translate, but there’s just incredible beauty to that. [Jews are] a people built of words, people built of books, and it’s quite beautiful to see that.”