Today is Natalie Portman‘s 36th birthday. The mom of two (her kids have the best Hebrew names: Aleph and Amalia) is also one of the biggest stars today, not to mention one of the most talented. Regardless of whether you are a huge fan or not, you have to admit, she’s got range; her films range from “V for Vendetta” to “Black Swan” to “Jackie” to “No Strings Attached.” And let us not forget one of her most shining moments: that profane SNL rap.
Here are some of my favorite Portman quotes in which she reveals her sassy side, how she parents, and what she stands for.
“When I’m not working, I’m pretty much exclusively with my family, so my rituals have to do with school, meal preparation, playdates, bedtime. … We spend the weekend together as a family — usually somewhere in nature, often with friends who have children. Lots of cooking.”
“Time goes exponentially fast as a parent. I hate saying it, cause ugh, we hated it so much when people said it to us: Pay attention and hold them close because before you know it, they’re moving out of the house. They always said it, and now we say it, and it’s awful, and we’re old. But it’s also true.”
“As I got older, the part that became more resonant to me was the idea that the stories we tell ourselves over and over as children create the expectations for the life we’re going to live. Then when those things start happening — you move to a new country, get married, have a kid … it’s not what you expect, not necessarily in a negative way, just different.”
On sexism in Hollywood:
“I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.I knew and I went along with it. [Kutcher’s quote] was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”
“I don’t think women and men are more or less capable. We just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities. We need to be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem.”
On her children:
“I think they’re good luck charms in life. They’re the best things. The best main miracles.”
“I think being a mother made me realize how maternal the role of director is. It made me much calmer under stress because there’s that weird parent thing you develop, that when things get really bad, your voice gets calm and your blood pressure slows and you can make everything OK again. And things get bad and stressful easily on films.”
On being a director:
“That’s why I, just basically your average everyday Jewish mother, would go around asking everyone, ‘You OK? . . . You all right?’ I have a child. I know what it’s like to care for a baby. But to do that with the civilization’s surrounding toughness, to make that journey and survive it. That’s the story.”
On believing in yourself:
“If your reasons are your own, your path, even if it’s a strange and clumsy path, will be wholly yours, and you will control the rewards of what you do by making your internal life fulfilling.”