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Oscar front runner Natalie Portman relates to her troubled Black Swan

20 January 2011

Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman has revealed that she can relate to the dancer she plays in her critically acclaimed film Black Swan because she spent her childhood seeking the approval of others.

The Oscar front runner made her film debut alongside the legendary Jean Reno in 1994's Leon from iconic director Luc Besson when she was just 13. Consequently, the mum to be appeared in a string of films before her role as Queen Amidala in 1999's Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace made her a huge star.

Portman admits she has struggled to overcome her need to please people, which stems from her early days as an actress - and she found similar traits in her troubled and ambitious character Nina, who drives herself mad.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph she said "When I started out as a child actress, I wanted to please everyone, and was always looking for approval. Having grown up, I'm not totally immune to approval, but I do look to please myself. It's all to do with finding a way to express yourself instead of being the way someone else wants you to be. Nina starts out as this childlike woman, trying to please her mother, trying to please her ballet director and fit exactly into the standards of this world that's prescribed to her. Finally she finds that perfection only lies in pleasing herself."

Portman who is engaged to her Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied will next be seen in the Ivan Reitman directed No Strings Attached when it opens across the UK on February 25 and co stars Ashton Kutcher.

Natalie Portman Photos