What's the secret to eternal youth? You should probably ask Natalie Portman. Born on June 9, 1981 in Israel, the actress who found global recognition as perhaps the only good things about the Star Wars prequel trilogy is apparently 35 years old — not that you'd know it, considering she hasn't aged a day in almost 20 years.
Let's take a look back at Portman's career and her various looks over the years, and try to work out exactly what her secret is. It all began way, way back in 1994, with Luc Besson's action thriller Léon: The Professional.
In Léon, Portman plays Mathilda, a twelve-year-old with an abusive father who's heading seriously off the rails. She was the same age as her character at the time, but some smart styling and that spiky bob make her look a little more like a young adult than a child.
Smart tip number one: age yourself up when you start out to create the illusion a decade later that you hardly aged at all. Next up, a quick skip forward in time to 1996 and a memorable role in Mars Attacks!
Although she was only fourteen when this one was filmed, Natalie looks much closer to 16 or 17. Must be that ridiculously '90s hairdo. After Mars Attacks!, our girl didn't actually star in another movie for three whole years, but damn did she choose her next job well: Collaborations don't get much hotter than George Lucas' revived Star Wars franchise when you're a teenage actress trying to make it big in Hollywood.
In Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Portman is the dazzlingly glamorous Queen Padmé Amidala, the monarch of Naboo. In the movie she's supposed to be fourteen, but at the time of filming Natalie was 17. Check out one of her many iconic looks from The Phantom Menace:
That white make-up does a great job of making Portman look younger than her years, although let's be honest — you still wouldn't fuck with Padmé, teenager or otherwise. Let's travel forward again, this time all the way to 2005, and Portman's final Star Wars movie.
In Revenge of the Sith, Padmé is meant to be older and wiser, but also naively in love with a man who's slipping away from her — that's a tough visual to nail, but in the six years since she began Star Wars, Portman had grown into a strikingly attractive woman. She was 23 at the time of filming, but again looked older than both her years and her co-star Hayden Christensen.
Next up, The Other Boleyn Girl as Anne Boleyn, one of the six wives of the legendary Tudor King, Henry VIII. This film was made in 2008, three years after Revenge of the Sith - and as you can see in the below image with (a very young-looking) Scarlett Johanssen, Portman has not aged a single day, thus beginning the fascinating and ongoing time-freeze phase of her career.
Let's jump forward now another two years to Black Swan (2010), the Darren Aronofsky thriller set in the cutthroat world of ballet, one of my all-time favorites and a movie I've seen far more times than could possibly be considered healthy. Anyway, Nina, the troubled heroine of Black Swan, has a difficult relationship with food (hardly uncommon in her profession), and Portman (like co-star Mila Kunis) visibly lost weight to get into character.
Finally, to this year's Jane Got A Gun (clip below) - and you guessed it, Natalie looks pretty much exactly the same as she did in Black Swan... and in Revenge of the Sith... ten years earlier. So, what's her secret? It's pretty logical really: A combination of good genes (like, really good genes) and expert make-up and styling.
By ageing her up in early movies, it feels like she was always a young adult, even though she's been doing this over 20 years - and whatever Natalie Portman does next, at whatever age, you know she's going to look damn good doing it.
Check out this trippy face-morph video that shows Natalie's facial evolution (or lack of) over time to see what I mean:
What's your favorite Natalie Portman role?