Portman admits past experience helped with Black Swan role

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Natalie Portman has admitted her brilliant performance in Black Swan brought back some painful memories of her time as a child star.

She admits her experiences of being in the limelight at such a young age – Portman’s first role came in Luc Besson’s Leon when she was just 13-years-old – helped with her Oscar nominated role in Black Swan.

However, despite drawing on that experience, Portman admits the naive young girl who starred in Leon is a far cry from the 29-year-old actress who is huge favourite in the Oscars best actress category this year at 1/6.

She said: “I started as a child actor and you just want to try and make everyone happy.

“It’s almost like that sort of pageant thing where you see the little kids do their dance or whatever and then they look right away to their mum like ‘How did I do?’ And that’s sort of how you feel as a child actor like you’re always looking for approval.

“It made the earlier parts of the film, where my character is insecure, naive and trying to please everyone, all the more difficult, because it felt like a regression of sorts.”

Portman’s role as a young ballerina consumed by madness as she attempts to fulfil her dream of dancing the lead in Swan Lake has already seen her pick up a host of awards, including the Golden Globe for best actress.

Her nearest competitor in the Ladbrokes best actress Oscar betting is Annette Bening for her role in The Kids are All Right. She is currently priced at 4/1 and is miles ahead of third favourite Jennifer Lawrence who is 20/1.

Portman looks set to continue receiving the plaudits and – despite the shortness of her odds – looks well worth backing to win the best actress gong at next month’s ceremony.

A £25 stake on Black Swan to win best picture could return £875! New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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