From Harvard to Hollywood, the inspiring career of Natalie Portman

A photo tour of the passion, education and drive behind one of film's biggest international stars.

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Natalie Portman Natalie Portman (Photo: The Professional)

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It all began with pizza

It was at a pizza parlor in her hometown of Syosset, New York, that Natalie Portman's life changed forever. A representative for Revlon cosmetics spotted the 11-year-old at the restaurant and immediately encouraged her to give modeling a shot. More interested in acting, Portman asked to be introduced to film agents instead.

This networking eventually led to her being cast in the 1994 film "The Professional," a performance that earned her critical acclaim and set her Hollywood career in motion. You can view a young Natalie Portman screen testing for her first role here.

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