Natalie Portman says she was lucky not to be ‘harmed’ as she warns child actors about Hollywood
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Natalie Portman has opened up about her experience as a child actor, and said that she does not think children should act in movies.
In an interview with Variety about her new movie May December, the Star Wars actor said she thinks it was luck which kept her out of harm's way during her time as a child star.
She also added that having very protective parents looking out for her also made a big difference.
But the actor and astrophysicist also added that she doesn't think that children should be working in movies at all.
Portman was asked whether she would encourage young people to get into acting and show business, and her response was stark.
She said: "I would not encourage young people to go into this. I don’t mean ever; I mean as children. I feel it was almost an accident of luck that I was not harmed, also combined with very overprotective, wonderful parents. You don’t like it when you’re a kid, and you’re grateful for it when you’re an adult."
She continued: "I’ve heard too many bad stories to think that any children should be part of it."
All the same, she did acknowledge that there have been improvements in the industry in recent years.
She added: "Having said that, I know all the conversations that we’ve been having these past few years. It’s made people more aware and careful.
"But ultimately, I don’t believe that kids should work. I think kids should play and go to school."
Sadly, her words ring all too true for child actor Jake Lloyd, who starred alongside Portman in Star Wars - The Phantom Menace.
Lloyd, now aged 34, has since retired from acting altogether.
Following the release of the film, he described how his life became a 'living hell' as he had to do up to sixty interviews a day.
He was also the target of relentless bullying at school, saying how other children were 'mean' to him.
Sadly, this took a serious toll on Lloyd's mental health, and he was arrested for reckless driving, driving without a license and resisting arrest in 2015.
Some time after this, Lloyd was sent to a psychiatric facility and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Lloyd described how he had learned to 'hate' when a camera was pointed at him.
Having seen something like that relatively early in her career, it's more than understandable why Portman feels the way she does about children acting in films.