(Portman isn't her real name; she borrowed it from her grandmother to protect her father, a fertility specialist, whose name is distinctive.) Her first in which the love story between Padmé and Anakin, played by Hayden Christensen, let her become, as she has put it, Revealing-Outfit Girl.

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It's always strange being a kid on the set, because you're treated like an equal when you're working.

"It was basically the thrill of their lives." About six months after her play, she auditioned for about a lonely hitman (Jean Reno) and a twelve-year-old girl. She had jumped off a sailboat with a girl-friend and swum to a deserted island, where they frolicked in the shallows, topless. "The creepy thing was there was someone there, someone following us," she says.

When the film was released, her parents came in for some stern, and inaccurate, criticism for "letting me do a Lolita film," Portman says. "They never wanted me to have to walk down the street wondering if people can visualize me naked." There has been the occasional disturbance. "I was just so angry — it just makes you feel dirty inside....

"This," their daughter informed them, "is the grossest piece of information I've ever learned." (Though, as she teased them, she figures that she knows what her father got for his birthday.) The Travers Take: Movie Reviews, Interviews and Commentary Memory is a prime interest of Portman the student.

The experiment she has planned for her thesis next year concerns the theory that "your identity is how you construct your memories into your life story." She credits her own late memory onset, from age four or five, to the fact she was brought up with two languages.I think people should have fun, and have a good time, and enjoy the luck that we have to be lazy and dwell in consumerism. hen we first meet, Natalie Portman is feeling under the weather."I barely saw my dad when I was little," she says, "because he was doing his residency." (I ask what exactly he does as a fertility specialist. "I don't know how my chances are after those names." Do you date non-vegetarians? "It's kind of unusual to find guys who are vegetarian. I mean, I would never go after him at all...." he story of how Portman was discovered and became an actress involves her being approached in a Long Island pizza restaurant by someone looking to cast a Revlon campaign."He inseminates and does surgery, and he's a reproductive endocrinologist," his daughter says matter-of-factly.) "The smell of a hospital is like the smell of my dad to me." I involuntarily make a face. That makes Jude Law even sexier to me." He's very married, though, I say. Portman didn't want to model, but she used the opportunity to get an acting agent.Natalie Portman has been to Cannes numerous times before, but only ever as an actor.