Before The Oscars: Natalie Portman

How did this year’s Academy Award nominees begin their acting careers? Find out in The Daily Actor’s “Before The Oscars” special feature.

Natalie Portman

Nominated for “Best Actress In A Leading Role”

Film: Black Swan

Role: Nina Sayers, a young ballerina whose precarious mental state begins to disintegrate when she is cast in the role of the Swan Queen.

How she got started: Born in Jerusalem, Natalie Portman started taking dancing classes when she was four years old. When she turned 10, she auditioned for the Off Broadway show Ruthless and was cast as an understudy with future pop star Britney Spears. In 1993, she made her feature film debut in Luc Besson’s film Léon. In the mid ’90s, Portman became a sci-fi icon after starring in Star Wars prequel, the Phantom Menace. She also had roles in Beautiful Girls, Where The Heart Is, Garden State and Closer, which earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Other notable films: Beautiful Girls, V for Vendetta, Where The Heart Is, Garden State, The Other Boleyn Girl and Closer (Academy Award Nomination)

The 83rd Academy Awards airs on February 27 at 8pm. For a list of nominees, click here.

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