Natalie Portman: Oscar winner, green darling, and mad scientist
Original photo: John MiraThe Intel Science Talent Search has been the Mickey Mouse Club of science for almost 70 years, identifying the Justin Timberlakes of high school research long before they go on to win Nobel Prizes and MacArthur “genius” grants. So anyone familiar with Natalie Portman’s stint at Harvard won’t be surprised to learn that she once was an Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist, investigating “a new, ‘environmentally friendly’ method of converting waste into useful forms of energy,” according to The New York Times. All you kids with beakers, you too could go on to dress like Goth Big Bird and design a vegan shoe line! (Not at the same time. That’s just silly.)
The New York Times fails to mention the best part: NatPo’s concern about reusing excess waste actually predates high school. As a youngster, she talks about recycling trash and backup-dances in the video for “Recycle It!,” a be-boppin’ tune by the World Patrol Kids. “Today, we are going to investigate the growing garbage problem the world is facing and try to find some solutions,” a tiny version of herself says earnestly. Oh, the cuteness. Watch:
Since her crew sock days, Portman’s gone from vegetarian to vegan, worked on a documentary about endangered gorillas, and asked Lisa Jackson to limit mercury pollution. Even her Oscar-winning turn as a crazy ballerina was green, as plastic water bottles were forbidden on the set of Black Swan. Recently, she’s even been sporting a recycled, conflict-free engagement ring.
The pregnant Portman said in her Oscar acceptance speech that motherhood will be her most important role, which I’m sure is only because someone has already invented a way to use dog poop to power streetlights.