Natalie Portman is getting rave reviews for her daring performance in 'Black Swan,' not to mention making headlines for her recent engagement and pregnancy announcement, and ET was with the star when she was just 13 years old and promoting her first Hollywood film.
In Luc Besson's 1994 thriller 'The Professional,' Natalie played Mathilda, the young neighbor of a professional hit man (Jean Reno) who is forced to take her in when her family is killed by a corrupt police official (Gary Oldman). Natalie surprised her then-co-stars, Jean and Danny Aiello, at Mulberry Street Pizzeria in Beverly Hills for the ET cameras, declaring, "They're not stars, they're buddies!"
"I never thought I'd be in a movie or anything, but ever since I was, like, two tears old I've always been putting on little shows, like singing and dancing and stuff," said the budding young Natalie.
Natalie said that her parents remained vigilant about the material their young daughter would take on in the violent movie, and she detailed a few of the changes they made to make it a little more appropriate for their child.
"My parents were uncomfortable with some parts," Natalie explained. "Like, there's a lot of cursing, and so [the filmmakers] took out some of the curses, and they weren't comfortable with the smoking, but they said I could take three puffs, and it's an herbal cigarette, it's not like a real cigarette. There's only one part where I shoot a gun, like a real gun, and it's not hitting anyone anyway – it's not, like, to kill anyone."
In talking about the physicality of her role, she revealed one of her talents that would eventually prove useful to her current, attention-getting 'Black Swan' role.
"I don't really do much physical stuff at all [in 'The Professional'], and I'm a dancer, so I'm used to, like, running a lot and stuff, but we didn't even run, or anything, that much," she said. "[My character is] just a normal 12-year-old girl, so she doesn't need muscles or anything."
School and a sense of normalcy was also an obvious priority for Natalie's parents, and listening to her talk illustrates how they instilled a sense of responsibility and obligation in their soon-to-be-famous daughter.
"They think it's great that I had this experience -- they just don't want it to interfere with school, or like my personality or anything," she said. "School is more important to me anyway, so I'm trying to keep it like I'm a student that does movies on the side, not like someone who does movies and does school on the side, you know? … In the long run, it's not going to be important how many movies I do, it's going to be important, like, how smart I am, you know?"
Natalie ultimately kept her priorities in order, attending the prestigious Harvard University to complete her education. One thing she was wrong about, however, was how famous she thought she would become.
"I don't really think I'll get famous, and if I do, I think it's kind of like the downside of being in movies," she said. "It's kind of nice that people appreciate your work, except it's kind of scary when you start losing your privacy."
Of course, being 13 years old at the time of the interview, Natalie had a serious star crush, and after a little prompting, she revealed it to ET...
"Brad Pitt came to the premiere yesterday, but he left before we could meet him," she gushed. "My friend and I were really upset, and so my agents tried to set up a lunch for us today, but I don't know [if it will happen]. But I'd be really excited if it does, because I love Brad Pitt!"
Watch ET for more with Natalie Portman…