Natalie Portman Once Felt the Reaction for ‘The Professional’ Was the ‘Worst Thing That Ever Happened’

Natalie Portman at the red carpet for 'Pachinko.'
Natalie Portman | Emma McIntyre/WireImage

Portman already had a passion for performing at

Natalie Portman got an early start in the film industry after having starred in the 1994 feature The Professional. But the attention that came Portman’s way afterwards proved to be a bit overwhelming back then.

Natalie Portman’s parents weren’t sure they wanted her to be a child star

Natalie Portman | Emma McIntyre/WireImage

Portman already had a passion for performing at a young age. Growing up around other like-minded artists with similar interests only helped fuel her passion and creativity.

“I was just always really into performing when I was little. I loved dancing, singing, putting on shows for the family. Because I lived on Long Island, a lot of kids in Long Island would do commercials and auditions for TV shows and stuff,” she once recalled in an interview with TIFF.

After convincing her parents to get an agent for auditions, Portman would eventually find herself in the Luc Besson-directed film The Professional starring Jean Reno. But it was a film her parents were reluctant about Portman starring in. The Portman family had preconceived notions about child stars, and they weren’t sure they wanted Portman becoming one herself.

“It was definitely a big conversation in our household before they allowed me to do it,” she recalled. “My parents are not related to the film industry at all and they were very much like, ‘Child actors become drug addicts, prisoners. This is not the road we want you to take.’ And I really fought for hard for it.”

Natalie Portman once felt ‘The Professional’ response was the worst thing that ever happened to her

Portman was catapulted into the spotlight after clinching her part in the action thriller. But she remembered the sudden attention she experienced in The Professional taking a bit of a toll on her. Some in the industry criticized the relationship between Portman’s and Reno’s characters, especially because of their age difference. At the time, Portman didn’t know how to react to the response.

“It was so extreme,” she once said in an interview with The Guardian. “The circumstances and the outrage and puritanical raging against it. As a 12-year-old [it was] just horrifying – you don’t think: ‘F*** them!’ You’re just like: ‘Oh my God, this is the worst thing that’s ever happened.’ And I think my parents felt really guilty: ‘Did we do something wrong?’”

The experience didn’t discourage Portman from acting any further. But it did temporarily influence the kinds of movies Portman did. She avoided “acting in stuff that was sexually provocative when I was young.”

Natalie Portman felt sexualized after her starring role in ‘The Professional’


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Not too long ago, Portman opened up about some of the pressures and challenges that came after her stardom. Her role in The Professional had an undesirable affect on her childhood, and made her feel like it was unsafe to express herself.

“I was definitely aware of the fact that I was being …read more

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet


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