Ever since Natalie Portman first lit up movie screens in Leon and Star Wars all those years ago, the world has been transfixed with her incredible acting talent and beauty. Black Swan, Jackie, V for Vendetta – the actress is amazing in whatever film she stars in, with an Oscar and two Golden Globes to her name.
And Natalie, who turned 38 on 9 June, has many strings to her bow; she’s one of the many female leads in Hollywood who is working just as much now as she did when she was younger. And in addition to acting, she also produces and directs her own movies.
With such huge international fame, it would be easy to get wrapped up in a life of glitzy parties, red carpet dos and fan mail – yet Natalie has struck a balance of embracing the positives of her career while at the same time guarding her privacy.
In fact the actress spends much of her time doing normal mum stuff and she likes it that way. Natalie has two children, Aleph, 8, and Amalia, 2, with her French dancer and choreographer husband Benjamin Millepied. The couple met while filming Black Swan together and live in sunny Los Angeles.
The star previously told The Guardian: “In my real life, I feel exposed to the public eye and the concept of celebrity is part of my life. But I do also lead a private, quiet life that is relatively guarded from the excesses we see in both the films. So I have access to both worlds.”
In an email exchange between Natalie and her author friend Jonathan Safran Foer, printed in the New York Times, we get an insight into the normality of her life.
Natalie wrote: “When I’m not working, I’m pretty much exclusively with my family, so my rituals have to do with school, meal preparation, playdates, bedtime. Weekends are best for ritual, because I own them completely. I do the whole week’s laundry, which I love because it’s a task with a clear beginning and end.” She adds that the family spends the whole weekend together, normally in nature, with friends who also have kids.
We can identify with Natalie when it comes to staying fit, and how tricky it can be to make time for exercise when you’re busy. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar after she had her second child, she revealed her daily routine.
“After dropping off my son, sometimes I’ll hike with a friend. I put the baby in the baby carrier. I don’t have a regular fitness routine right now. I’ve just been hiking and swimming when I can, and doing little exercises.”
Natalie reveals that she’s a fan of the workout Gyrotonics, which is a combination of movements from yoga, swimming, tai chi, gymnastics and dance.
When it comes to growing older, the actress has a wonderful approach; she’s finding new passions in which she’s considered young. In the emails with Jonathan Safran Foer, Natalie reflects over her long acting career and how she’s been working in movies since she was 11 years old.
Now focussed on directing as well as acting, she writes how she is ‘replacing old desires with new ones’ and even if she fails, that’s fine, because the failure keeps her interest. “I can become a young director as I turn into an older actress,” she says.
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