Last weekend, Natalie Portman married her long-term fiancé—a French ballet dancer named Benjamin Millepied. It was all very nice and Jewish.
It’s great to see Natalie happy, but selfishly speaking, let’s face it. For the past several years, her hotness has been on the decline, and this latest news is just the nail in coffin.
Natalie Portman is still incredibly attractive, yes. You can’t deny that. She’s beautiful, pretty, good-looking, etc. But hot? That’s questionable. Because somewhere along the line, Natalie’s hotness began to be obscured by her pretentiousness. Some say it started with Garden State. Others say the impetus was her engagement. Either way, people are confused, as evidenced by this Google search:
Clearly, the public is torn. Let’s examine things on a timeline, shall we?
2000: The ‘Star Wars’ Diss
Although her acting was questionable, it was the Star Wars prequels that made Natalie a household name. So how did she feel about the massive fame and fortune the trilogy brought her?
“Star Wars hasn’t changed my life at all.”
The year was 2000, and this quote, which came from an Entertainment Weekly interview, gives a miniscule hint of the snobbery that would inevitably reveal itself in the coming years. For now, Star Wars fans are angry, but the rest of us forgive Portman because, frankly, she’s hot. She’s also only eighteen at the time; she’s allowed to say something stupid. We let this one slide.
2004: ‘Garden State’
For the next four years or so, Natalie becomes a Hollywood ‘It’ girl, impressing us with her beauty as well as her subsequent roles in the Star Wars series. We cringe a bit when she says, “Anakin, you’re breaking my heart,” but we’re confident Natalie will improve with acting lessons, so we forgive her because, again, she’s hot. We have high hopes.
Then Garden State happens.
In the highly pretentious flick, Portman takes on the role of man-boy dream girl and delivers a slew of bumper sticker lines like:
“If you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer than you’d like.”
“This is your one opportunity to do something that no one has ever done before and that no one will copy throughout human existence.”
“That’s life. If nothing else, It’s life. It’s real, and sometimes it fuckin’ hurts, but it’s sort of all we have.”
Fans groan in unison.
2009: Veganism and the Rape Comparison
I have no problem with veganism. I have plenty of friends who are vegan (and incessantly remind me of it). But in 2009, when Natalie controversially compared eating meat to rape, she went from eloquent intellect to self-righteous snob. Natalie originally made the comparison in an essay for the Huffington Post, below. (For your convenience, I’ve bolded the rape part. You’re welcome.)
“I say that Foer’s ethical charge against animal eating is brave because not only is it unpopular, it has also been characterized as unmanly, inconsiderate, and juvenile. But he reminds us that being a man, and a human, takes more thought than just ‘This is tasty, and that’s why I do it.’ He posits that consideration, as promoted by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which has more to do with being polite to your tablemates than sticking to your own ideals, would be absurd if applied to any other belief (e.g., I don’t believe in rape, but if it’s what it takes to please my dinner hosts, then so be it).”
Personally, I don’t think she was necessarily equating omnivores to rapists, but the rest of the world heard “rape” and flipped the fuck out. It wasn’t the best comparison, and Natalie’s sweetheart status was taken down a notch.
2010: Free Roman Polanski
In 2010, Natalie signed a petition to free brilliant director/convicted rapist Roman Polanski. I’m sure she had her reasons, but in the eyes of the public, Natalie joined the ranks of the deluded Hollywood elite. Not hot. The train to ugly town is speeding up a bit at this point.
This is the point in which a friend of mine argues Natalie completely went south—not because pregnancy is unattractive, but because it completely took her off the market. Fan boys could deal with her engagement to a French ballet dancer. But that baby bump might as well have had French flag on top of it. At this point, many stop seeing Natalie as a Hollywood PYT and begin seeing her as wife and mom.
2011: ‘No Strings Attached’
Not even Natalie’s Black Swan performance could make up for this turd. If anything, No Strings Attached reminded us that her Aronofsky-directed acting was a fluke. At the time, even Natalie knew the movie was a mistake. The then-Oscar hopeful skipped out on the premieres of No Strings Attached, leaving Ashton Kutcher to promote the movie alone. And that, my friends, is what we call a Dick Move.
After Portman‘s recent Oscar win, she’s managed to lay relatively low, and it’s been a while since she’s put her foot in her mouth. She’s still an attractive woman, sure, but over the years, her flubs have obscured her hotness. She’s now traveling on the road to pretentious territory, paved by the likes of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Will she reach the point of no return? Only time will tell.