Portman wins best actress Oscar

2011-02-28 08:35

Natalie Portman won the Oscar for best actress Sunday night, a credit to her terrifying portrayal of an obsessed, paranoid ballerina in Black Swan.

It was Portman’s first win in two nominations and follows her supporting actress nomination for Closer, which was made in 2004.

Portman (29), who lost nine kilograms in the year she prepared for the film, is in the midst of a new transformation – she wore a deep purple off-the-shoulders dress on the red carpet to accommodate her growing baby bump.

In December, Portman and her fiance Benjamin Millepied, the choreographer of Black Swan, announced that she was pregnant.

They met on the set of the film, a psychological thriller that verges into horror territory, directed by Darren Aronofsky.

Millepied helped her up the steps to the stage of the Kodak Theatre to accept her award. Portman called him “my beautiful love” who “has now given me my most important role”.

Backstage, the actress said her baby kept her centred amidst the glamour of the award.

“It feels like a protection against all of the hoopla,” she said, adding that she did not know her child’s gender.

“The next dream I have, in terms of a very short term future, is staying in bed and not having to do makeup or hair and keeping my sweats on, relaxing,” she said.

“And for my child to be happy and healthy. Whatever any parent could only wish for.”

Portman had been the heavy favourite to win, having swept the awards season in earlier match-ups such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards when she was up against Annette Bening in the same category.

An Israeli-born former child star who made a memorable feature-film debut in 1994’s hitman tale The Professional, Portman grew up on screen, starring in her teens and early 20s as the tragedy-bound spouse of future evil overlord Darth Vader in George Lucas’ second Star Wars trilogy and gracefully moving into adult roles, including 2004’s Closer, which brought her first Oscar nomination.
She is the only Israeli-born acting winner; the only other acting nominee born in Israel was Topol for Fiddler on the Roof.

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