Natalie Portman & Michelle Williams Chat About Being Child Actors
“I was around the same age [eleven],” Michelle said. “It’s a funny thing, you know? It turned out all right. But it isn’t a life that I would want necessarily. It was really hard when I started out, and the bottom of absolutely every barrel. My first agent was a part-time undertaker.”
“It worked out OK. It’s a really long way, and not necessarily a very nice one. It’s a hard childhood to have — or a lack of a childhood to have. I do love doing it, and I can’t really imagine doing anything else. I want to keep doing it. But when I see kids on the set, or when I work with kids in movies, I feel really torn about their role there,” Michelle added.
Click inside to read Natalie Portman’s comments on being a child star…
“Someone was saying recently: Think about what you love when you’re 11,” Natalie said. “Adults who are feeling lost, try and regain that. And it’s funny that they pinpointed that age, because you say you started then. That’s when I started. I feel that there is something around that time where you do have an instinct about what you really love. I don’t know where it came from, because there’s no one in my family who was ever a performer. I came from such a serious, academic family, where the only thing that was acceptable was to be very literate and educated — you become a professor or a doctor or a lawyer. My dad pulled me aside when I was 25 and was like, ‘I think it’s time for you to go to law school or grad school.’ Not that he was saying that acting was bad, but more that he was like, ‘I think you’ll be more fulfilled if you have something more — like a life of the mind.’ So it took me a while, coming from that background, to be like, ‘This is what I want, and this is what I love. I enjoy this.’”
For more from the interview, visit Variety.com!