From her very first appearance in Leon when she was just 13 through to her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan, Natalie Portman has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actresses.
But for all the varied performances she has given on screen, the star has said that raising her son Aleph has been more intense than any role.
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“I love being a mum, but it’s much more intensive work than being an actress — going to work feels like you’ve got a day off,” she told Elle magazine as she sat down to promote upcoming film, Thor: The Dark World.
“Not that I want a day off from being a mum, it’s just perhaps I had this impression before that mums don’t work. But they work more than anyone.”
Natalie, 32, was interviewed for the magazine by her Thor co-star Tom Hiddlestone, who plays the Norse god’s brother Loki.
And Tom revealed that the first time he teamed up with Natalie, she punched him in the face.
Natalie Portman pictured with her son Aleph
“Natalie has a neat right hook. I know this because the first time we shared screen time, she punched me in the face,” he recalled. “Oh my god: it was so good,” the actress said with a laugh.
Although she reprises her role as feisty astrophysicist Jane Foster in the sequel, Natalie said she believes Hollywood has a long way to go in its depiction of feminism.
“I want every version of a woman and man to be possible. I want women and men to be able to be full-time parents or full-time working people or any combination of the two,” she said.
Natalie and Benjamin Millepied married in August 2012
“I want both to be able to do whatever they want sexually without being called names. I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad — human, basically.
“The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho.
“A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can all empathise with.”
Natalie, her husband Benjamin Millepied, and their two-year-old son recently relocated to Paris after ballet dancer Benjamin was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet.
The couple were married in August 2012 in an intimate Jewish ceremony in California, 14 months after the arrival of Aleph.