Natalie Portman Beautiful Girls Hollywood Sexualized child star Dax Shepard

Natalie Portman is one of the few child stars who managed to stay on a good path and transition to a successful acting career as an adult. Being sexualized by Hollywood at a tender age, however, left the Oscar-winning Best Actress with scars according to a candid chat with Dax Shepard of “Parenthood” fame.

In a new interview, the Black Swan actress reveals how coming of age in Hollywood – and coming out healthy on the other side – was far from easy for her.  Natalie Portman says that being “sexualized as a child” actress by the media took a major toll on her.

Natalie Portman’s Discusses Early Film Career With Dax Shephard

Natalie Portman made her film debut on the set of the R-rated movie Leon: The Professional, and she turned 12 on set.

Just two years later, she starred in Beautiful Girls, a movie in which an adult man played by Timothy Hutton develops a crush on a 13 year-old girl. 

While interviewing Portman on his podcast “Armchair Expert,”  Hollywood star Dax Shepard, who is six years her senior, admitted that while he loved the actress in the 1990s, he doesn’t know what to think about that now. 

“The premise of Beautiful Girls is [actor] Timothy Hutton gets infected with this cute girl who’s precocious and wiser than her years and there’s something whimsical about it,” Shepard explained.

“There’s some pretty things, and there’s some complicated, dicey things, and now I don’t know that movie gets made,” he continued. “There’s so many layers to it… there were times I was like ‘I shouldn’t be so in love with this girl, but Timothy Hutton is.’”

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Natalie Portman Opens Up About Being Sexualized By Hollywood & Media

Portman told Shepard that being sexualized at such a young age negatively impacted her for many years to come.

“Being sexualized as a child, I think, took away from my own sexuality because it made me afraid,” Portman said. “It made me feel like the way I can be safe is to be like, ‘I’m conservative, and I’m serious, and you should respect me, and I’m smart and don’t look at me that way.’”

“Whereas, like, that age — you do have your own sexuality, and you do have your own desire, and you do want to explore things, and you do want to be open, but you don’t feel safe, necessarily, when there’s, like, older men that are interested and you’re like ’No, no no no no no,'” she added.

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She Closed Herself Off To ‘Feel Safe’

In order to “feel safe,” Portman built “fortresses” around herself for a long time.

“So many people I think had this impression of me that I was, like, super serious, and prude and conservative,” Portman continued. “I realize I consciously cultivated that because it was ways to make me feel safe. ‘Oh, if someone respects you they’re not going to objectify you.’ It worked out, luckily. I mean, I was safe.”

Thankfully, Portman has been able to overcome all of this.

The 39-year-old A-lister has been married for eight years to her husband Ben Millepied. She met Ben met on the set of Black Swan, the movie for which she won her Best Actress Oscar.

They have two children together, and they seem very happy!

Actor and all-around funny guy Dax Shepard is also married to Kristen Bell of Disney’s animated hit Frozen.

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