Natalie Portman is Jewish. She was born in Israel. her father is Israeli and her mother is American. They moved to the U.S. when she ws three years old.
The beliefs and stories of her heritage help form her life even today. For example, Natalie Portman recently famously claimed that she did not know where her Oscar statuette is. When asked about that, she cited the Hebrew story of Abraham.
"I don't know where it is," she says. "I think it's in the safe or something. I don't know. I haven't seen it in a while. I was reading the story of Abraham to my child and talking about, like, not worshipping idols. And this is literally like gold men. This is literally worshipping gold idols — if you worship it. That's why it's not displayed on the wall. It's an idol."
But her heritage as a Jew does not mean that Natalie Portman follows all Israeli sentiment.
"I'm very much against Netanyahu. Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected. I find his racist comments horrific. However, I don't — what I want to make sure is, I don't want to use my platform [the wrong way]. I feel like there's some people who become prominent, and then it's out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel. I do not. I don't want to do that."
When she was asked about how she feels about former Dior fashion designer John Galliano, who was quoted as saying, "I like Hitler" and using anti-Semitic comments toward a Jewish couple, she chooses forgiveness.
"I don't see why not to be forgiving to someone who is, I mean, someone who's trying to change," she says. "However, I don't think those comments are ever OK. I don't forgive the comments, but ... we've all done things that we regret."
Natalie Portman lives in Paris, which has seen an upswing in anti-Semitic activity. Is she nervous living there? She takes a cosmopolitan view of the situation.
"Yes," she says, "but I'd feel nervous being a black man in this country. I'd feel nervous being a Muslim in many places."