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Natalie Portman Profile

Natalie Hershlag (born June 9, 1981) better known under her stage name Natalie Portman, is an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning Israeli-American actress. She is not the Portmans girl.

As a child, Portman spent her school holidays attending theatre camps where she developed her love of acting. After some experience in an off Broadway musical, she was cast in Léon at age twelve. During the mid-1990s, Portman had small roles in big films such as Heat, Everyone Says I Love You and Mars Attacks!, as well as having a major role in Beautiful Girls. In the later years of the 1990s, she was cast as Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy which brought her considerable fame. She developed an on-screen persona, playing characters that are rather smart, mature, and even quirky, evidently seen in Anywhere But Here. Her role in Zach Braff's Garden State saw her gain a wider fan base. In the same year, she was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for her role in Closer.

Portman, a Harvard graduate, is considered by many as a young female role model, in part due to her position regarding young mature actors and actresses being exposed to s3x in films. She turned down many roles during the 1990s due to her position on the subject. She is also praised for placing the highest priority on education during her years as a child actor and pursuing tertiary education even if it would conflict with her acting career.

Since a young age, Portman has held socially and environmentally conscious beliefs, becoming a member of the environmental song and dance troupe The World Patrol Kids at age 12. She is an "animal lover," and has been a vegetarian since she was eight years old, the decision from which came after she witnessed a demonstration of laser surgery on a chicken while attending a medical conference with her father. She owns one dog, a Poodle-Schnauzer mix named "Noodles". She also loves to read and is often found with a book.

Portman spends some of her free time involved in causes such as the Democrats' 2004 U.S. presidential campaign and ending poverty. In 2004 and 2005 she travelled to Uganda, Guatemala, and Ecuador as the Ambassador of Hope for FINCA international, an organization that promotes micro-lending to help finance women-owned businesses in poor countries. In an interview for the Ecuadorian magazine Cosas in August 2005, she talked about her work with FINCA. She also confirmed that her religion was Judaism, although she was non-practicing.

Wailing Wall kissing
On February 23, 2005, Israeli police moved Portman away from Jerusalem's Western Wall after protests by religious Jews who were praying at the holy site. She and Israeli actor Aki Avni were filming a kissing scene near the Wailing Wall for the movie Free Zone. This was deemed to be immodest and men who were praying heckled the couple until police stepped in and suggested they return later. The site is under the authority of Orthodox Judaism, and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, who is responsible for the site, said the actors' behaviour violated the code of conduct.

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