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Page 3 Profile: Natalie Portman, actress

She of Black Swan fame?

Yup, you’ll remember Natalie was the talk of award season in 2010 when she scored an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her turn in  Darren Aronofsky’s ballet thriller. She’s also proven her acting  clout with roles in the Star Wars franchise, as well as Leon in her early days.

So what’s she doing now?

The most cerebral of Hollywood’s actress stable is making her directorial debut with an adaptation of Israeli author  Amos Oz’s autobiography A Tale of Love and Darkness. In fact, she’s written the screenplay and will also star.

Hasn’t this been doing the rumour mill for a while, though?

Indeed. Talk of the project first emerged six years ago. Now with the backing of the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, it’s expected to go into production in early 2014.

So she’s pretty clued up?

Well, it’s pretty close to Natalie’s heart given that she has dual Israeli and American citizenship. Her birth name is in fact Natalie Hershlag – she was born in Jerusalem to a Jewish family. 

Who’s she playing?

She may be a girl-next-door beauty, but now a mum-of-one herself, Natalie is expected to play the role of Oz’s mother, who fought with mental illness during his childhood. It’s set in the 1940s, so she’ll undergo a retro makeover.

Is she cut out for working behind the camera?

Wong Kar-wai, who directed her in 2007 Cannes opener My Blueberry Nights, seems to think so. He said of her decision to take on the movie: “Her discipline will make her a well-organised and well-prepared director on set.”

So she’s a perfect role model?

Her reputation is as a clean-living, multilingual, vegetarian movie star who put her career on hold to study for a degree.

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