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- Where I live, nobody who's fourteen is having sex and doing major drugs. And I think if you see it in the movies, you may be influenced by it. I think it's so important to preserve your innocence.
- Ingenue interview, March 1996 by Ted Demme, Ingrid Sischy
- I don't mean to criticize anyone in any way that I wouldn't criticize myself. I think people should have fun, and have a good time, and enjoy the luck that we have to be lazy and dwell in consumerism. But I think that it's a balance. And our job as actors is empathy. Our job is to imagine what someone else's life is like. And if you can't do that in real life, if you can't do that as a human being, then good luck as an actor.... I just think it's an important thing to engage in the world. And it's just too easy not to in our society.
- Inside the Actor's Studio interview by James Lipton, New School University, November 21, 2004
- It was wonderful playing a young queen with so much power. I think it will be good for young women to see a strong woman of action who is also smart and a leader.
- Natalie Portman, quoted in The Phantom Menace "Production Notes".
- It’s weird that there are so many people at Harvard who do amazing things outside the classroom. It just so happens that people like to watch what I do.
- As quoted by Abigail A. Baird NYTimes
- Everyone has to find what is right for them, and it is different for everyone. Eating for me is how you proclaim your beliefs three times a day. That is why all religions have rules about eating. Three times a day, I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings. That is why I eat the way I do.
- On vegetarianism. Interview with The New Zealand Herald (5 May 2011), quoted in “Natalie Portman: 'Eating For Me Is How You Proclaim Your Beliefs'”, in ecorazzi.com.
- I grew up in the classic American-Jewish suburbia, which has a whole different sense of what it means to be Jewish than anywhere else in the world.
- You know, I get much more Jewish in Israel because I like the way that religion is done there.
- I had a fashion designer tell me that when I wear a dress of his, it sells out across the country because Jewish girls ‘look to me,’ and Jewish girls are the ones that buy expensive dresses. It made me sad, because I want to be an influence in ways other than by a pretty dress.
- There’s so much goodness there, and such a value placed on education, which is sort of universal among Jews around the world. I appreciate that obviously, to be a part of that.
- My response was that more than half of Israelis are of Sephardic origin. Many of these Jews come from Arab lands and share the same physical skin color.
- On allegations of racism in Israel
- I’d like it if people thought I was Jewish-looking.
About Natalie Portman
- I’ve taught at Harvard, Dartmouth and Vassar, and I’ve had the privilege of teaching a lot of very bright kids. There are very few who are as inherently bright as Natalie is, who have as much intellectual horsepower, who work as hard as she did. She didn’t take a single thing for granted.
- Abigail A. Baird NYTimes (1 March 2011)
- Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman has only harsh words for...[Israel's] controversial “nation-state law” passed over the summer formally recognizing the country as a Jewish state despite its large population of non-Jewish Arabs. “It’s racist... It’s wrong and I disagree...”... Portman told the BBC it’s “hard to be from a place” where laws like this are in place. “It’s like your family ― you love them the most and you also feel the most critical.” ...Portman’s critique comes eight months after she backed out of a major Israeli award ceremony in Jerusalem where she was scheduled to receive a prestigious honor. The “Black Swan” actress explained in a statement that she did not want to appear to support Netanyahu... Her statement...said, “Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation.”
- Sara Boboltz in Natalie Portman Slams Israel’s Nation-State Law As ‘Racist,’ & ‘Wrong’, The Huffington Post (13 December 2018)
- Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman again lashed at Israeli policies in an interview published in a Palestinian-owned newspaper Thursday, calling the controversial Nation-State Law "racist" and a "mistake." Portman, born Neta-Lee Hershlag in Jerusalem, also told the London-based Al- Quds Al-Arabi that law “oppressed Palestinians.”... The Nation-State Law... defines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people.” It also drops Arabic as an official language... it has stoked anger among critics who, like Portman, argue that it is racist. Portman said she “doesn’t agree” with the principle of the contentious law. "It’s a mistake… I only hope that we will really love our neighbors and work together," she said.
- Daniel Salami in Natalie Portman to Arab paper: Israel's Nation-State Law is racist, Ynetnews (13 December 2018)