Natalie Portman reveals she was left 'vulnerable' after being sexualised as a teen

·2-min read
Natalie Portman has opened up about how it made her feel to have her
Natalie Portman has opened up about how it made her feel to have her 'breast buds' written in her early teens. (Getty Images)

Natalie Portman has revealed how being sexualised in her early teens left her feeling "vulnerable".

The actress, now 41, starred in the 1996 film Beautiful Girls – about a 13-year-old girl who has a relationship with an older man – when she was the same age as her character.

She told The Sunday Times' Style magazine that she now feels uncomfortable with the roles she played in her early teens – which also included her debut role as a 12-year-old in Léon who befriends an older hitman.

Portman said: "I think, in that time, it was very normal. Some of it was the types of roles that were being written and some of it was the way journalists felt entitled to write about it."

The actress (pictured in 2006) appeared in the film Beautiful Girls aged 13. (Getty Images)
The actress (pictured in 2006) appeared in the 1996 film Beautiful Girls aged 13. (Getty Images)

She added: "I remember reading a review of myself when I was about 13 that mentioned my breast buds."

As a result Portman said she "put on all these defences", which involved her rejecting parts that included sex or love scenes.

She said: "It was like, I’m not going to be seen that way, because it felt like a vulnerable position and also a less respectable position, in some way, to be characterised like that."

Portman is now married to French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, with whom she has two children, son Aleph, 11, and daughter Amalia, five.

In her latest role, she plays astrophysicist Jane Foster in the Marvel film Thor: Love and Thunder, alongside Chris Hemsworth.

Unlike her Oscar-winning part in Black Swan – for which she had to adhere to a rigorous diet and exercise regime – she was encouraged this time to "bulk up" through strength training and protein shakes.

The star said: "It’s pretty unusual and wonderful to be tasked with getting bigger as a woman.

"Most of the body transformations we're asked to make are to be as small as possible and there's an emotional and sociological correlate to that."

Watch: Natalie Portman delighted to see more female superheroes

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