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Natalie Portman: Starting Young (2005)

Natalie Portman reflects on how she was cast in the film Léon: The Professional (1994) at such a young age.

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The cast and crew reflect back on the making of the film Léon: The Professional (1994).

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Natalie Portman reflects on how she was cast in the film Léon: The Professional (1994) at such a young age.

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11 January 2005 (USA)  »

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This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD for Léon: The Professional (1994), released in 2005. See more »

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References Wayne's World (1992) See more »

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A Shocking Role For Young Girl's First Movie!
18 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This young woman is quite a speaker and comes across as a very intelligent, since and transparent person. There's nothing phony about Natalie Portman.

In this "feature," she tells of her experiences as a very young girl (11 or 12 years old) in her first movie, the action-packed and controversial "Leon: The Professional" (1994). If you haven't seen the film, the controversy is there because it's about an 11-year-old girl whose scumbag family is wiped out in drug shootout and she goes to live with the guy down the hall. The guy down the hall is this dim-witted but kind-hearted professional killer named Leon. Eventually, she persuades him to teach her how to be a killer, yet the story isn't as cold-blooded as it sounds.

Anyway, Natalie talks about her parents' reactions to doing some of these things, what was not permitted and what was, involving cigarettes, handling guns, the sexual stuff, etc. They show her audition for the role, too. For her first dramatic scene, Portman mentions they blew menthol in her face which makes the eyes sting and helps a person pretend to cry.

Near the end, it was interesting to hear her comment about how this role helped her in her transition to adult roles. Since this was an adult movie, she never really had to make that big transition from kids' films to adult films. She was already there, right from the start.

This interview was one of the features on the two-disc Deluxe Edition of the "Leon: The Professional" DVD.


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