Natalie Portman bonded with Jodie Foster over being sexualised as child actors

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Actor Jodie Foster reached out to Natalie Portman to discuss being sexualised as a child, the latter has revealed.

Both actors got their start in the industry when they were pre-teens, with Foster’s breakout role coming in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, playing a child prostitute, and Portman landing her first role almost two decades later in Leon The Professional.

Foster was just 12 at the time, while Portman was 11, yet that didn’t stop the pair of them from being disgustingly sexualised by many audiences. Since then, both stars, particularly Portman, have spoken out about being sexualised as child actors.

The star once gave a speech at a Woman’s March, which caught Foster’s attention, leading the two actors to bond over their experiences.

Portman told the Smartless podcast, “I did a speech at a Women’s March about being sexualised as a young actress, and she reached out to me after that, and we talked and it was amazing. She’s still a role model.”

In the past, Portman has opened up about how being sexualised due to her role in Leon significantly impacted her development. She once said, “Being sexualised as a child, I think, took away from my own sexuality because it made me afraid.”

She added, “It made me [feel] like the way I could be safe was 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’.” 

Meanwhile, Portman recently claimed the film industry is in a state of “decline”. She strengthened her point by positing that YouTubers are now becoming more famous than movie stars.

She stated: “There’s a liberation to it in having your art not be a popular art. You can really explore what’s interesting to you. It becomes much more about passion than about commerce. And interesting, too, to beware of it becoming something elitist. I think all of these art forms, when they become less popularised, you have to start being like, OK, who are we making this for anymore?”

Listen to Portman’s appearance on Smartless below.

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