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DailyBeast.com: Before They Were Nominated

Natalie Portman

Now: Nina Sayers, "Black Swan"



Then: Mathilda, a hit-girl, in "Léon" ("The Professional")



Natalie was 12 when she made her feature film debut in the French action film "Léon" ("The Professional"), where she played—disturbingly—a 12-year-old protégé of a solitary New York City hit-man. Though it was generally well-received, the movie set off a debate about, as one critic put it, its “would-be sexy portrayal of a pre-teenage girl.” Portman’s breakout role was as the expressionless Padmé in George Lucas’ widely derided "Star Wars" prequels. Portman is still best at playing virginal characters, but just like the feverish dancer she portrayed in "Black Swan," for which she earned a Best Actress nomination, she has learned to show her dark side.

(Image: Everett Collection)
See the Full story at The Daily Beast
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