Instagram | @natalieportman

10+ Things Fans Didn't Know About Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman isn't just an Oscar-winning actress.

She's also a mother, a wife, a published author, a dancer, an activist, a Harvard graduate — and she's accomplished all of this before the age of 40! Basically, she can do it all.

Want to be amazed even more? Take a look at these 10+ things fans didn't know about the star.

1. She was born in Jerusalem to Jewish parents:

Instagram | @natalieportman

She actually holds dual citizenship in Israel and the U.S!

She and her family moved to the States when she was just a child. She's lived in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, and Long Island.

2. She was a child actress:

Her first role was in 1994's Léon: The Professional.

Ever since she became a mother, she has prioritized her kids over her acting jobs. Her last movie was Lucy In The Sky in 2019.

3. She changed her name:

Instagram | @natalieportman

Her Hebrew birth name is actually Neta-Lee Hershlag.

She adopted her paternal grandfather’s maiden name, Portman, as a way to protect her identity as a child actress. Honestly, it was a very good call on her end.

4. She was scouted for modeling in a pizza shop:

This happened when she was only 10. A Revlon casting agent wanted her to model for their campaign.

She turned it down since she was more interested in acting.

5. She is extremely smart:

Instagram | @natalieportman

Um, duh! She went to Harvard!

She even pursued her psychology degree while filming Star Wars. But she made it clear that she could only film during the summer when school was out.

"I don't care if going to Harvard ruins my career,' she said at the time. 'I'd rather be smart than a movie star.'"

Instagram | @natalieportman

In addition to Harvard, she's been published in two separate scientific journals and has become one of the biggest advocates for equality of the sexes in the fields of Science.

6. Her diet is a mixture of vegan and vegetarianism:

Instagram | @natalieportman

She told Vogue that she's a vegetarian at home and a vegan when out.

"I consume my own weight in hummus every day. I cook a lot, and I even do vegan baking."

7. She's good friends with Britney Spears:

The unlikely pair hit it off when they shared the same Broadway understudy role for Ruthless!

"We thought, 'We're never going to find another [girl] — we're really screwed,'" Joel Paley, the show's book writer and lyricist told The New York Post about meeting Spears.

8. Speaking of Broadway, she went on to star in *The Diary of Anne Frank*:

Instagram | @natalieportman

She also had the privilege of acting alongside Meryl Streep in the 2001 Broadway production, The Seagull by Chekov.

Talk about a great way to kick off your career, am I right?

9. She made a powerful feminist statement at the 2020 Oscars:

Natalie embroidered the names of female directors who she believed to be snubbed by the Oscars on her cape's hem.

This included Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lorena Scafaria (Hustlers), and Lulu Wang (The Farewell).

The move wasn't entirely well-received, as Rose McGowan didn't think that Portman was being genuine.

Instagram | @rosemcgowan

She shared a scathing post on Facebook, where she wrote that she found Natalie's cape to be "deeply offensive".

Eventually, she apologized.

10. She met her husband, Benjamin Millepied, on the set of *Black Swan*:

Instagram | @natalieportman

Those two danced into each other's arms since he was her choreographer!

They got married in 2012 and have two kids: Aleph, born June 2011, and Amalia, born February 2017.

11. When she won the Oscar for her role in the film, she even dedicated her speech to him.

Instagram | @natalieportman

"Beautiful love, Benjamin, who has now given me my most important role in my life," she said.

Such beautiful and sweet words (and a well deserved Oscar).

12. She trained two hours a day for a year for *Black Swan*:

Instagram | @natalieportman

"Six months later we ramped it up to five hours a day, and the last two months it was eight hours a day, because we added choreography and cross training, so I was also swimming a mile a day," she told Vogue.

"The discipline was good for the part—it hurt a lot; your body is in constant pain.”

Similar to her character, she had to make a lot of sacrifices.

She would drink a lot of coffee, took a lot of ibuprofen, and slept only five hours a night.

13. She almost played Juliet in *Romeo & Juliet*:

Ugh, we would have loved to have seen her star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio!

Since they deemed her too young for the part, they had Claire Danes step in. To be fair, she was fantastic in the part.

14. Part of her appearance on *Between Two Ferns* is something Zach Galifianakis regrets most:

YouTube | Funny Or Die

In case you didn't know, the Funny or Die show is basically about making the guests feel as awkward as possible.

But Zach thought he crossed a line when he asked Natalie a question about her involvement in the movie, V for Vendetta.

He said: "You shaved your head in *V for Vendetta*, did you also shave your V for vagina?"

Instagram | @natalieportman

"I thought that that question was too much," Galifianakis admitted to USA Today.

"I actually asked them to edit that out."

15. She once rocked a shaved head:

Warner Bros.

The Oscar-winning actress did so for her role in the movie, V for Vendetta.

Talk about dedication! It paid off in the end, as she won the best actress award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.