Natalie Portman: ‘No one would make Leon today’

Natalie Portman is convinced her breakout movie Leon: The Professional would never get made today.The Oscar-winning actress was 13 when she landed the lead role in Luc Besson’s 1994 action thriller, with the film also starring Jean Reno and Gary Oldman…

Natalie Portman is convinced her breakout movie Leon: The Professional would never get made today.

The Oscar-winning actress was 13 when she landed the lead role in Luc Besson’s 1994 action thriller, with the film also starring Jean Reno and Gary Oldman.

But while Natalie had a blast playing a protegee of an assassin on set, she’s not sure the idea of an ultra-violent movie based around a teenager would get greenlit in 2019.

“I appreciate it when something connects with an audience,” she said in an interview with Empire. “It also gave me my career on a platter and was a 100 per cent a positive experience. I loved doing it. But you watch and it’s largely inappropriate.

“There’s a lot of stuff in there that’s not amazing through today’s eyes. I think because people are still connected to it and care about it and I personally did not have anything but positive feelings, I still feel more on the proud side. Even though I totally understand, I don’t know how I’d show that to my kids.”

Natalie and her ballet choreographer husband Benjamin Millepied are parents to seven-year-old son Aleph and two-year-old daughter Amalia.

And while the star has achieved mainstream success for her performances as Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel films and features like Closer, Garden State, The Other Boleyn Girl, Black Swan and Jacqueline Kennedy biopic Jackie, she is adamant that Leon: The Professional is the flick that fans ask her the most questions about.

“It’s still the thing people come up to me the most on the street, even more than Star Wars or Black Swan,” the 37-year-old insisted.

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Natalie Portman’s family and friends stopped child stardom ruining her life

Natalie Portman credits her strong relationships with family and friends with helping her to avoid the perils of youthful fame. The 37-year-old was thrust into the spotlight when barely in her teens after starring in Leon: The Professional, Luc Besson…

Natalie Portman credits her strong relationships with family and friends with helping her to avoid the perils of youthful fame.

The 37-year-old was thrust into the spotlight when barely in her teens after starring in Leon: The Professional, Luc Besson’s movie about a hitman who dotes on an orphaned young girl, has now drawn on her experiences of fame for two new film roles.

In Vox Lux she plays school shooting survivor turned scandal-hit pop diva, and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan sees her star as the distant mother of a child actor who becomes pen-pals with a closeted TV star.

However, Natalie, who is married to French dancer Benjamin Millepied, 41, believes her own relationships contrast greatly with those portrayed by the movies’ characters.

“My family and my friends are completely separate from my work side, so no matter where I was, it didn’t affect my relationships,” she tells The Guardian. “You see with Celeste or John F. Donovan that some of the people they hold dearest to them urge them to go on when they’re at their breaking point, because they’re profiting off their success. I think that’s really dangerous, when you can’t separate the emotion from the business.”

The actress admits fame has affected her life – and spoke at the Women’s March in Los Angeles in January (18) about how she was troubled by fame as a teen, as she received sexually explicit fan mail and unwanted attention from the media. But the actress says her settled private life has meant she’s always been able to withdraw from the spotlight.

“In my real life, I feel exposed to the public eye and the concept of celebrity is part of my life,” Natalie explains. “But I do also lead a private, quiet life that is relatively guarded from the excesses we see in both the films. So I have access to both worlds.”

Both of the Black Swan star’s new films debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month (Sep18).

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