Courtesy of Harper’s BAZAAR
Natalie Portman, who is currently living in Paris with her husband, French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, and their son Aleph, 4, opened up about French culture and what she misses about the United States.
“It’s magical,” the Oscar-winning actress shared in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar about Paris, where she was relocated about two years ago. “But the cultures are different in ways you don’t even realize. And there’s stuff you don’t know you’ll miss until you’re away. Like indoor gyms where kids can just run around and jump.”
“[In Paris], if you’re running around on the playground chasing your kid and playing a game, people think you’re nuts,” Portman, 34, says.
The Black Swan actress, who studied psychology at Harvard University, spoke about her social life in France.
“This French friend of ours just told me that being in Los Angeles, he missed having serious conversations at dinner,” she says. “In Paris, if you’re at dinner and there isn’t a debate, you leave and think, ‘Well, that wasn’t a very good party.’ But no one ever does that here. And I thought, I like just having happy talk! My French is OK, but when my friends are talking about books and philosophy, that’s a level of conversation I’m just not ready for linguistically—and maybe intellectually.”
Before moving to Paris where her husband was set to direct the Paris Opera Ballet, Portman revealed in 2013 to Marie Claire that she really enjoyed living in Los Angeles.
“It’s one of the most exciting places to be in the world right now. It’s really central in terms of the arts. It feels like things are happening in L.A., you know? New York is more where art is bought than where art is made,” she explained.
“I’m really lucky. When Ben asked me if I wanted to go to Paris, I freaked. Everyone dreams of living in Paris,” the actress added.
Portman and Millepied, who met while she was filming Black Swan, began dating in 2009. They got married in 2012 in Big Sur, California.