"I would not encourage young people to go into this"- Natalie Portman opens up about her opinion on child actors

A still of Natalie Portman (Image via Getty)
A still of Natalie Portman (Image via Getty)

Following a very turbulent period in Hollywood, actors are finally back after the SAG-AFTRA strike concluded, and many, like Natalie Portman, are already gearing up for the releases of their next projects.

One of the most renowned actors in Hollywood, Natalie Portman, who is also a prominent part of the vast MCU, recently returned to promote her upcoming new film, May December by Todd Haynes.

In the upcoming film, Natalie Portman will take up the role of actress Elizabeth Berry (Portman), who is set to portray Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) in a movie. While catching up on the film in a recent interview with the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, Portman also expressed her opinion about the industry and its treatment of child actors.

While this is an increasingly common trend, with more and more young people trying to get into the field, Natalie Portman has quite the opposite advice for anyone seeking this. She said in the interview:

"I would not encourage young people to go into this. I don’t mean ever; I mean as children. I feel it was almost an accident of luck that I was not harmed, also combined with very overprotective, wonderful parents."

She further elaborated on the same topic, explaining how, as a child actress, she never found it appealing.

"I’ve heard too many bad stories to think that any children should be part of it"- Natalie Portman on child actors in the industry

Natalie Portman has been around in Hollywood for long enough to know about almost all the intricacies of the industry. She made her debut at twelve when she starred as the young protégée of a hitman in the action film Léon: The Professional (1994), which was enough to shoot her career to great heights.

Since then, she has actively appeared in various films, including the famed Star Wars franchise, where she played Padme, a role that launched her to global stardom.

However, according to her, the part where she was a child actor is not an avenue that she wants kids to explore, a view that many have resonated with over the years.

"You don’t like it when you’re a kid, and you’re grateful for it when you’re an adult. I’ve heard too many bad stories to think that any children should be part of it. Having said that, I know all the conversations that we’ve been having these past few years. It’s made people more aware and careful. But ultimately, I don’t believe that kids should work. I think kids should play and go to school," she said.

Many other celebrities, like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, have also previously spoken about the same problems with the industry and the undue pressure it puts on young people.

However, it seems that this trend is far from over, both because of the artistic needs that arise in films and shows that require young people and because of the undying fascination for Hollywood that young people have from the start.

Natalie Portman's upcoming film, May December, is set to release on December 1, 2023, on Netflix. It previously premiered in select theaters on November 17, 2023.

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Edited by Dev Sharma