Natalie Portman

Hailed as a child prodigy for her uncommonly skilled performances in Luc Besson's "The Professional" (1994) and Michael Mann's "Heat" (1995), Natalie Portman dodged the "child star curse" bullet to become a major big screen draw in her twenties. Even as a teen, Portman's talent for portraying sensitive old souls reflected her own grounded, emotionally evolved persona, as well as her ability to plan her career and choose roles wisely. She offered a Golden Globe-nominated performance as the level-headed daughter of flighty single mom Susan Sarandon in "Anywhere But Here" (1999), before transforming into a sci-fi pin-up as regal queen Padme Amidala in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy (1999, 2002, 2005). Her occasional forays into mega blockbuster territory - including "V for Vendetta" (2006) and Kenneth Branagh's "Thor" (2011) - proved Portman's screen appeal as an empowered, intelligent and irresistibly cute screen star. Throughout her career Portman maintained "acclaimed actress" status with a Golden Globe-winning turn in Mike Nichols' "Closer" (2004) and Oscar-winning performance in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" (2010), as well as work in smaller films like Zach Braff's "Garden State" (2004) and Ivan Reitman's romantic comedy "No Strings Attached" (2011), where her charm, emotional accessibility and increasing dramatic range made her one of the most bankable young women on the big screen. Along with her Oscar-nominated turn as Jackie Kennedy in the unconventional biopic "Jackie" (2016), her work in Terrence Malick's experimental "Knight of Cups" (2016), as well as her initial foray into writing and directing with the Hebrew-langauge drama "A Tale of Love and Darkness" (2015), proved she remained willing to take artistic risks.