It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.Hugo Black
Natalie Hershlag (born June 9, 1981 in Jerusalem, Israel) better known under her stage name Natalie Portman, is an Oscar-nominated Israeli-American actress.
- Where I live, nobody who's fourteen is having sex and doing major drugs. And I think if you see it in the movies, you may be influenced by it. I think it's so important to preserve your innocence.
- Ingenue interview, March 1996 by Ted Demme, Ingrid Sischy
- I don't mean to criticize anyone in any way that I wouldn't criticize myself. 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. But I think that it's a balance. And our job as actors is empathy. Our job is to imagine what someone else's life is like. And if you can't do that in real life, if you can't do that as a human being, then good luck as an actor.... I just think it's an important thing to engage in the world. And it's just too easy not to in our society.
- Inside the Actor's Studio interview by James Lipton, New School University, November 21, 2004
- All the kids that look up to me can SUCK MY DICK!
- SNL rap skit
Interview, Jewish Chronicle, 6 July 2007 
- I grew up in the classic American-Jewish suburbia, which has a whole different sense of what it means to be Jewish than anywhere else in the world.
- You know, I get much more Jewish in Israel because I like the way that religion is done there.
- I had a fashion designer tell me that when I wear a dress of his, it sells out across the country because Jewish girls ‘look to me,’ and Jewish girls are the ones that buy expensive dresses. It made me sad, because I want to be an influence in ways other than by a pretty dress.
- There’s so much goodness there, and such a value placed on education, which is sort of universal among Jews around the world. I appreciate that obviously, to be a part of that.
- My response was that more than half of Israelis are of Sephardic origin. Many of these Jews come from Arab lands and share the same physical skin color.
- On allegations of racism in Israel
- I’d like it if people thought I was Jewish-looking.
- Awards are so unnecessary, because I think we get so much out of our work just by doing it. The work is a reward in itself.
- Breast implants gross me out. I don't think they're attractive at all.
- Cute is when your personality shines through your looks. Like, when you see someone's personality in the way they walk and you just feel like hugging them every time you see them.
- Going to a party, for me, is as much a learning experience as, you know, sitting in a lecture.
- I am not someone who sacrifice all for the cinema; my life will be always more important.
- I can sleep a whole day. If no one woke me up, I would sleep for 24 hours. I think it's a combination of my age and my appreciation for sleep. Sleep is so wonderful. Sometimes you can oversleep and feel like you've wasted your time, but I think it's one of the bestways to spend your time.
- I don't love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.
- I don't think I've ever been in love, I'm sure I will be some day. I've had enormous crushes, although I've never been into the Brad Pitt thing.
- I don't want to sound superficial, but when I go see a movie myself, I'd rather look at Tom Cruise than some shmo with a beer belly.
- I love milk so much! I make a point of drinking a glass of milk every day. So now anyone who did those milk ads with the milk moustaches, they're my heroes.
- I loved school so much that most of my classmates considered me a dork.
- I speak fluent Hebrew and even dream in Hebrew when we visit there, once or twice a year.
- I think school is so much harder than real life. People are so much more accepting when they are adults.
- I usually run three or four times a week now. Pretty boring, but it's so worth it. It's done wonders for my mood.
- I'm a Gemini, so I change my mind every day.
- I'm always on the phone because I'm usually not with the people I want to be with.
- I'm going to college. I don't care if it ruins my career. I'd rather be smart than a movie star.
- If you're an actress or a musician, everyone thinks you're hot.
- It scares me to think that one day I'm not going to be in school anymore.
- It's always strange being a kid on the set, because you're treated like an equal when you're working. But then when you break, the other actors go back to their trailers to take naps and drink beer, and I have to, like, go do school.
- My dad's a doctor, and when I was 8, I went to one of his medical conferences where they were demonstrating laser surgery on a chicken. I was so mad that a chicken had to die, I never ate meat again.
- My father has a general rule. He says if I haven't done it in real life I shouldn't do it on-screen.
- Ninety per cent of how you learn is watching great people. When you are surrounded by good actors it lifts your performance.
- Smart women love smart men more than smart men love smart women.
- Star Wars hasn't changed my life at all.
- The best part about being friends with your parents is that no matter what you do, they have to keep loving you.
- There's always pressure, from other people and yourself. If you're happy with the looks you're born with, then what are you going to do your whole life? We keep thinking up new things and finding better ways of doing things because we're not happy with what we're given.
- There's so much else to do in the world. To just be interested in doing films would limit my life.
- When a guy tells me I'm cute, it's not something desirable. Cute is more like what you want your pet to be.
- When I was 7 years old, I put on shows for everyone at my grandpa's funeral. I was always the little entertainer.