14-year old Natalie Portman looks like 26-year old Portman?

I’d never even heard of Natalie Portman until recently but a few weeks ago my wife and I watched The Other Boleyn Girl (with 26-year old Portman playing Anne Boleyn). Yesterday we watched Beautiful Girls (with 14-year old Portman playing the leading man’s “Lolita” interest).

This is almost our only exposure to Natalie Portman (though I see at Wikipedia she had a minor role in Cold Mountain which my wife and I watched many years ago.) My wife is not a movie buff, pays no attention to actors/actresses names, and, in any event, Portman gets only a smallish credit in Beautiful Girls.

Yet my wife recognized Portman immediately from a scene that didn’t even have a close-up! (And we don’t have hi-def TV.) It was the distinctive smile that gave it away. She’s done similar feats before, often forgetting which other movie she’s seen the performer in, but in this case knew right away it was The Other Boleyn Girl.

I was flabbergasted. I looked up Portman at Google Images where, due to camera angle or hair styles or whatever, I’d not have known that some of the adult pictures were of the same person. :dubious: (One reason for my flabbergast is that I’m just the opposite: I used to confuse Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke. :smack: )

(If I stare at the pictures of Portman at 14 years and some of the current pictures I can see she obviously has the same face, but am still amazed my wife caught it at a glance, with the “comparison photo” a weeks-old memory.)

Was this amazing? (My wife has many even more amazing talents, but that would be a subject for other threads. :smiley: )

Was it amazing that your wife recognized a person? No.

I think facial recognition is a talent that people have to varying degrees. I also think it’s not surprising to recognize the same person at different ages. I also think Natalie Portman had a mature face at a young age…or a mature soul…or something…she was a disturbingly mature child actress, perfect for a Lolita type role.

There was a sweet little movie called Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dance and Charm School. I immediately pegged an adult actor in a bit part as the father of a child actor with a much larger role. My husband said, “really? You’re sure they’re father and son?” and I said," either they’re father and son or the director had the foresight to film the scenes with the child actor 20 years ago with the same actor as a child!"
and suddenly it came crashing in on me with perfect clarity that that is exactly what had happened. The director had incorporated a short he had made much earlier in his career into an expanded version of the same story as a feature film.

The DVD extras bore me out! The actor is Elden Henson.

I must protest. There was nothing "Lolita"ish about Natalie’s character in Beautiful Girls. Marty (Portman) has a crush on Willie (Timothy Hutton) and he’s fascinated by her maturity and intelligence, but they both know there’s no possibility that they’ll become a couple, at least not for many, many years, and by then they each would have gone their separate ways. Absolutely nothing sexual happens between them. One of Willie’s idiot friends calls her a “Neighborhood Lotlita” but she has a perfect comeback:

When Natalie Portman was cast in the Star Wars prequels at age 17, she was partly chosen because she had the kind of look that could play younger and older. Over a seven year period of shooting the trilogy (from 1997 to 2003), she had to play ~14 through to ~26.

I’m much more impressed you didn’t know who Natalie Portman was than your wives ability to recognize her.

Not that everybody pays attention to the Oscars, but her nomination and win for Best Actress a couple of years ago got her a lot of publicity on TV and magazines.

Yeah. I mean, like her or not, she’s been one of the world’s most famous actresses for the past decade.

Has the OP heard of George Clooney? Johnny Depp? Brad Pitt?

Wow, I am definitely amazed that you hadn’t heard of her before, but not that your wife managed to recognise a person.

V for Vendetta? star wars I - III? Thor? Black swan?

I can see someone not being into Star Wars, comic book movies or art house movies.

Edit to add, I’ve known about her since Leon: The Professional, but I can see how others would have not seen most of her movies.

I don’t even remember her being in Cold Mountain.

Lady in a cabin, Jude Law protects her from marauders.

Yeah, she’s the one with the baby that the marauders want to leave out exposed in the cold. Her husband was killed in the war.

It was about that age that Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth became enamoured of Philip Mountbatten.

Yeah I read that line and immediately thought “zombie.” Definitely wasn’t expecting the date on that to be yesterday.

No, she looks pretty much the same, only with wrinkles and other “older” features. In fact, I thought this was going to be another one of those threads where people claimed she looked identical to her current self as a kid. (and they never do, BTW. For example, Dick Clark was not anywhere near ageless–he looked every bit as old as he was. James Lipton, no the other hand…)-

I think the major reason is because Portman has always been an extremely good actor and, in my opinion, strikingly beautiful. Here she is at 13 auditioning for The Professional. Schwing!

I just figured that he didn’t want to cheat on Jeannine Pratt.

It didn’t work though. Maybe it’s the outfits but she looks at least 10 years older than Anakin in PM, so it’s kinda weird to see them hook up in the next film.

(yeah I know: how dare you diss phantom menace!)

He’s more than fascinated. He’s really into her. Yes, it’s tempered by the fact that it’s clearly wrong and she’s way too young, and he knows all those things, but he’s quite smitten just the same.

Did you really just schwing a 13-year-old?