I confess to being a fan of Natalie Portman, Academy Award winner for her performance in Black Swan. Let me count the reasons why:
She’s a very good actress: At age 13, she starred in the French film, Leon. In 1997, she played Anne Frank in the Broadway rendition. In 2005, she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Closer. This present year has seen spectacular successes: a Golden Globes Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Award, and Academy Award for her stellar role in Black Swan.
I admire her intelligence: After all, we’re talking about a Harvard graduate in psychology. I like how she put it in a New York Post interview: “I’d rather be smart than a movie star.” She been a guest lecturer at Columbia. A lover of languages, she’s fluent in English, French and Hebrew and has also studied Arabic, Japanese and German. She’s taken graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She’s also published professional articles in leading science journals.
I like her political beliefs: She is a Democrat who campaigned for John Kerry in 2004, for Hillary Clinton in the New York primary, and Obama in 2008.
I admire her social activism: She’s devoted herself to helping eliminate poverty, traveling to Africa and Latin America to advocate micro-lending, a program to assist women in financing their own businesses. She’s also spoken for this cause at several leading American universities.
I identify with her religious views: In an interview with Rolling Stone (2006), She commented on whether there’s an afterlife, “I don’t believe in that. I believe this is it, and I believe it’s the best way to live.” Although committed to her Jewish heritage (she’s a dual citizen of the U. S. and Israel), she thinks that good character and partnership are the primary staples in a love relationship.
I’m enthusiastic about her views on animals and vegetarianism: Since childhood, she’s been committed to vegetarianism and became a vegan in 2009 after reading Safran Foer’s classic, Eating Animals. She doesn’t wear furs, feathers or leather. In 2007, she started her own franchise for vegan footwear and in the same year participated in the filming of the documentary, Gorillas on the Brink in Rwanda.
She’s just plain nice to look at: Need I say more?