8 ways Natalie Portman’s life is eerily similar to Jackie Kennedy’s
As filming begins for 'Jackie,' we reveal the comparisons.
Filming has begun in D.C. as Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman plays Jackie Kennedy in the upcoming movie "Jackie." When photos of Portman in costume surfaced a few weeks ago, we saw just how well Portman captured Kennedy's style. But these two ladies have more in common than looks; their lives are eerily similar, too. Shall we count the ways?
They moved around a lot growing up
Kennedy was born in 1929 in Southampton, New York. She spent her early years in Manhattan and East Hampton on Long Island, at the Bouvier family estate, "Lasata." After her parents divorced, she and her siblings divided their time between their mother's homes in Virginia and Rhode Island, and their father's homes in New York City and Long Island.
Portman was born in Jerusalem and later returned to the city to take extra college courses at Hebrew University after graduating from Harvard University. Growing up, her family moved from Israel to D.C. and Connecticut before settling in Long Island.
They studied ballet
As a child, Kennedy took ballet lessons. She was apparently pretty average, but she remained interested in ballet throughout her life and often read about it.
Portman studied ballet and modern dance in her teens at the American Theater Dance Workshop in New Hyde Park, New York, which served her well in "Black Swan."
They wanted to be actresses
Jackie loved theater in high school and wrote a musical, which was produced by the drama club. She told her stepbrother that she wanted to become an actress, but she decided against it because she thought the career path was uncertain. But that didn't stop her from entertaining her classmates with convincing impressions of her teachers.
Portman's first acting role was in the 1994 action thriller "The Professional," opposite Jean Reno, when Portman was just 13. After performing in "Star Wars," her career blossomed into the incredibly active professional acting life she has now.
They became bilingual at an early age
Jackie learned languages easily and became fluent in French, Spanish and Italian as a child and schoolgirl. Portman, of course, grew up speaking Hebrew and English.
"Knowing languages is a tool that helps in some situations where all you do is just, you don’t even think about it, you just keep moving forward," said Portman.
They took school very seriously
Kennedy was a smart student. When she was in high school, the yearbook for her senior year mentioned that she refused to become a housewife and insisted on going to college. She was accepted to Vassar instantly after getting high test scores compared to other applicants.
Portman skipped the premiere of her film "Star War Episode I: The Phantom Menace" to study for her high school final exams. When discussing attending Harvard, where she studied psychology and eventually returned as a commencement speaker, Portman told the New York Post, "I don't care if [college] ruins my career. I'd rather be smart than a movie star."
They were/are Francophiles
Kennedy's mother insisted she speak only French at the dinner table. She studied abroad in France in college and, in 1951, she graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature.
Portman studied French throughout her life and actually moved to Paris when her French choreographer husband, Benjamin Milepied, was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet.
"I'm really lucky," Portman said. "When Ben asked me if I wanted to go to Paris, I freaked. Everyone dreams of living in Paris."
They were also polymaths
Kennedy was an accomplished equestrian and could control a pony confidently by age 2. Later, she managed to help lead a nation and contribute to the fashion world of the time. In her later life, she became a book editor.
In addition to being an amazing actress, Portman is also something of a scientist. As a high school and college student, she co-authored two research papers about chemistry and neuroscience that were published in scientific journals.
They cared deeply about making the world better
Granted, famous people are often under pressure to do charitable things, but these two really committed to their causes beyond the call of duty.
Kennedy was a preservationist. She led a campaign to save and renovate Grand Central Terminal. In the 1980s, she took part in protests against plans to build a skyscraper at Columbus Circle, which would have cast shadows over Central Park.
Portman, meanwhile, feels strongly about animal welfare. She's a vegan and works to raise awareness of animal rights.
"As we use food to impart our beliefs to our children," writes Portman in a Huffington Post article, "What stories do we want to tell our children through their food?"
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