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Natalie Portman: how her first role disrupted her sexuality

Natalie Portman doesn’t want to be seen as a Lolita! Monday, December 7, 2020, it was through Dax Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert, that the actress spoke of her childhood, but also of the pitfalls of growing up as a star at a young age. Spotted at ten years old in a pizzeria, it was two years later that she landed the role of Mathilda in the film Léon, by Luc Besson. During this exchange, Natalie Portman explained that this experience did not allow her to be who she really was before explaining how the industry had an impact on her intimate development: “Being sexualized as a child m ‘took away from my own sexuality because it scared me. So many people got this impression of me that I was very serious, prudish and conservative as I got older. I consciously cultivated this because it was a way of feel safe. If someone respects you, they won’t object to you. ”

In 1997, Natalie Portman was offered the role of Lolita in the film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s book about a middle-aged man who sexually binds a 12-year-old. However, it was ultimately Dominique Swain who played this character after the actress refused her because of the overtly explicit content. Refusing roles and refusing to do love scenes then became part of Natalie Portman’s self-defense techniques. “At this age you have your own sexuality, you have your own desire and you want to explore things … But you don’t necessarily feel safe. So you build these fortresses,” she lamented.

A very disturbing fan letter

In 2018, it was during the Women’s March in Los Angeles that Natalie Portman had already declared that she had been the victim of “sexual terrorism.” Evoking her participation in the film Léon, she explained: “The character I played discovers and develops her femininity, her voice and her desires. At this point in my life, I discovered myself my femininity, my own desires, my own voice. . I was so excited at 13, when the film came out, because my work was going to meet a human echo! ” Alas, it was the opposite … “All excited, I opened my first fan letter: it was a man who said he fantasized about raping me. A countdown started on local radio, until ‘when I was 18, which is the day it would be legal to have sex with me, ”added the star.

Natalie Portman © Agency

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