At the age of 4 Natalie Portman started dancing lessons and performed in local troupes. A Revlon agent asked her to become a child model when she was 10 years old, but she turned down the offer to focus on acting.
In 1994, Natalie Hershlag took her grandmother’s maiden name “Portman” as her stage name after she has been choosen for the role of a child who befriends a middle-aged hitman in Luc Besson’s film, “Leon”, also known as “The Professional”. Film “Leon” opened on November 18, 1994, marking her first film debut at age 13.
In 1995–1999 period, Natalie Portman had a major role in Beautiful Girls” as well as roles in the films “Everyone Says I Love You”, “Heat” and “Mars Attacks!”. In 1997, Natalie played the role of Anne Frank in a Broadway adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank”.
In late 1999, she got the lead role in the film “Anywhere but Here”. Natalie Portman received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Ann August. Also, in 1999 Portman was cast as Padme Amidala in the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy.
In 1999, Portman enrolled at Harvard University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in psychology and successfuly completed her bachelor’s degree in 2003.
In July 2001, Portman opened in New York City’s Public Theater production of russian Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull”play, directed by Mike Nichols.
In 2004, Portman won Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards and, for her performance as Alice in Closer, she earned a Supporting Actress Golden Globe as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2005, Natalie Portman filmed “Free Zone” and as well director Milos Forman’s “Goya’s Ghosts”.
In 2006, Portman played Evey Hammond in the movie “V for Vendetta”, when she famously had her head shaved.
In late 2006, Portman filmed “The Other Boleyn Girl”, a historical drama in which she plays Anne Boleyn. She was named one of the hottest women of film and TV by Blender Magazine. In 2006, she also filmed in the movie “My Blueberry Nights” directed by Wong Kar-wai.
She appeared in Paul McCartney’s music video “Dance Tonight” from his 2007 album “Memory Almost Full”, directed by Michel Gondry.
In May 2008, Portman served as the youngest member of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival jury.
In 2009, she starred in a remake of the 2004 Danish drama film “Brothers”.