Natalie Portman: ‘I grew up around a lot of snobbism… and I really reject that’

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As I previewed yesterday, Natalie Portman covers the new issue of Marie Claire (to promote Thor 2: The Dancing Loki), and I still think this is one of the worst Portman editorials I’ve ever seen. You can think whatever you want of her personality, but Natalie is a beautiful woman and you really have to TRY to make her look this washed out and dead-eyed and like a Twilight extra. Marie Claire released part of their cover story – you can read it here – and there are some interesting quotes:

On L.A. and moving to Paris: “I just really really love it here. 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… I’m really lucky. When Ben [husband Ben Millipied] asked me if I wanted to go to Paris, I freaked. Everyone dreams of living in Paris.”

Speaking French: Describing her grasp of French as “OK,” Portman, who is fluent in Hebrew, says she can get through a conversation. “I mean, not about, like, philosophy,” she explains. “But about this and that, I can manage.”

On Thor co-star Chris Hemsworth: “Chris is, like, one of the greatest people in Hollywood. He’s the kind of actor who’s so charismatic, he must be tired when he goes home.”

On confrontation: “I don’t like confrontation, but I’m probably less afraid of it now. I wouldn’t say I’m confrontational. But I say my opinion. I realize how much nonconfrontation was about trying to have everyone like me.”

On making highbrow and lowbrow films: “I grew up around a lot of snobbism about what was important and what was serious, and I really reject that.”

On fans: “People are really cool, by and large. I try and stay away from drunk people – that’s when they start getting rude and aggressive, like, ‘Why did you suck in that movie?’”

What her parents did right: “They made me feel that they would drop anything at any time to help me. I never felt like there was anything more important than me. Which I know can probably create an a–hole, too. It gives you a deep sense of security and safety to feel that your parents will love you no matter what.”

On interviews: “I’d never do them if I didn’t have to”

On the mess that is Jane Got a Gun: “It was very challenging,” Portman says diplomatically. “Everyone came together, but it was hard emotionally.”

Her vices: “I bite my cuticles,” she offers, apologetically. “Oh, and I can go into a Food Network hole.”

Typecast in “Jewish” roles: “Like, every Jewish role comes to me,” she says, laughing. Even now, when everyone from Mila Kunis to Scarlett Johansson is of the faith? “I look more Jewish than Scarlett,” Portman deadpans.

[From Marie Claire]

I think there are two notable quotes here. First: “I grew up around a lot of snobbism about what was important and what was serious, and I really reject that.” Er. Seriously? This is not a comedian defending his love of fart jokes. This is Natalie Portman, the Queen of Holier-Than-Thou, defending her career choices, I think. What it shows is that Natalie has different standards for the art she creates and the “art” other people create. Just my opinion. The second quote: “I never felt like there was anything more important than me. Which I know can probably create an a–hole, too.” Precisely. At least she’s showing a sliver of self-awareness.

Interestingly enough – and yet more grist for the conspiracy mill – Darren Aronfsky gave some quotes for Natalie’s interview too. Aronfsky said: “She’s a very private person. But because she’s been in the spotlight since she was so young and she’s so beautiful, there’s this real attention on her. Usually people who are haunted by the paparazzi say they don’t want it, but they do. Natalie has no interest in that. She’s not playing that game.” Fascinating.

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Photos courtesy of Tesh/Marie Claire.

 

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135 Responses to “Natalie Portman: ‘I grew up around a lot of snobbism… and I really reject that’”

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  1. MollyB says:

    I’ll say this about Natalie. She’s not making holier-than-thou comments about how long she’s breastfeeding her kid or trying to make other moms feel like shit, like a bunch of other model/actresses I can think of. I appreciate that, at least.

    • smith says:

      That first pic – they’ve photoshopped her into looking like Giada De Laurentiis and I don’t like it – all gigantic bobblehead and odd little arms.

      Okay here goes: someone please explain her prettiness to me because, dear friends, I don’t see it. She’s obviously not unattractive and there isn’t anything that pulls my focus (like a crooked nose or beady eyes or a conjoined twin growing out of the side of her head) …but there’s always this flutter about how beautiful she is, blah, blah and I’m thinking it goes beyond her own PR and maybe I’ve just missed the boat.

      I have the same feeling when I look at Jessica Alba, definitely nothing ugly per se but I don’t get all the hype. It’s like the sum is NOT greater than the parts if that makes sense.

      Maybe it’s because when I look into their eyes I don’t like what I see/feel? I’m not fans of either but I’m going to make a leap and say that’s not it. I’m just not that invested (despite my long-winded comment).

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Smith, who wrote: “Okay here goes: someone please explain her prettiness to me because, dear friends, I don’t see it. She’s obviously not unattractive and there isn’t anything that pulls my focus (like a crooked nose or beady eyes or a conjoined twin growing out of the side of her head) …but there’s always this flutter about how beautiful she is, blah, blah and I’m thinking it goes beyond her own PR and maybe I’ve just missed the boat.”

        I feel you, and I’m right there with you. I don’t get the ‘beautiful and/or sexy’ about Natalie (whom I’ve always considered homely), Keira Knightley, Scarlet Johannson, and several other ‘touted’ Hollywood beauties.

      • irishserra says:

        @Smith: I think I agree with you, but you know the saying, “… in the eye of the beholder.” I don’t think she’s ugly, but I don’t find anything outstanding. Personally, I’m more drawn to features that really stand out to me (larger nose, exaggerated cheekbones, etc.), and while I think Natalie Portman is attractive, I don’t find her gorgeous. But I respect the opinions of those who do. It’s just what you like, I suppose.

      • Delta Juliet says:

        That’s how I feel about Blake Lively.

      • Mel says:

        “there’s always this flutter about how beautiful she is, blah, blah and I’m thinking it goes beyond her own PR and maybe I’ve just missed the boat”

        So am I.
        Then again, that’s a boat I really don’t mind missing.

      • Bluebear says:

        My best friend said to me once that she didn’t “get” Angelina Jolie. She thought she wasn’t attractive at all. Not ugly, just not attractive, and never could understand the fuss everyone made about her. I guess you feel the same about Natalie Portman. I think she is very attractive, not necessarily beautiful.

        Beautiful people are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Attractive people may not be beautiful at all, buy you simply are pulled to them by some quality that they have.

        My father always said, “Beautiful people can be attractive, and attractive people can be beautiful, but not all beautiful people are attractive and not all attractive people are beautiful”.

      • lisa says:

        i thought she was kind of cute until she brucejennered her nose, and she had a perfectly fine nose to begin with, better than what she has now

      • Belgiansky says:

        Amem, Smith and Emma! I think exactly the same about these women!

    • ctkat1 says:

      Agreed- she’s not doing the mommy-shaming thing that so many celeb moms do. In fact, I think she was the one who said that going to work was a relief, because being a mom is really hard.

  2. blue marie says:

    Ha ha, she thought “snobbism” is a new french word she’d try out..

    Can I just say that I have no idea what Jewish looks like. I didn’t realize there was a prototype? Am I missing something?

    • .... says:

      Well, ashkenazi jews are the most common jewish group in America. I think she’s talking about that, but i’m not 100% sure.

    • RocketMerry says:

      Well, there are a few physical stereotypes for men: not too tall, with a thin build and a big nose… it used to be brown haired and eyed, too. I don’t know if these also apply to women.
      These are pretty much the same stereotypes for Italian, Portuguese, Arab, South-French, Spanish. Let’s say all Mediterranean populations are expected to be somewhat like that. Except maybe American-Jewish people are supposed to have fairer skin? Am I remembering that correctly?

      Let’s keep in mind that stereotypes are typically very inaccurate. I’ve met plenty of blue eyed, blond, tall Italians and I’m pretty sure the same goes for every other ethnic group that we associate with a nationality.

      So I guess Natalie is saying that Scarlett Johanson looks more all around American/German than American/Jewish. I guess?

    • taxi says:

      Blue Marie – No, you’re not.
      There’s always debate on whether the term “Jewish” refers to ethnicity or religion. Portman evidently think it’s ethnicity but not all Israelis are Jewish. Since she was born in Israel, I suppose she could further define herself as Sabra.

      • irishserra says:

        You make a valid point. I think “Jewish” in Hollywood usually refers to a certain culture, and not so much religion or even ethnicity, especially when you consider that Hollywood as we know it was founded and is still run pretty much by the Jewish.

      • Maureen says:

        Well, a “sabra” is just an Israeli-born Jew. That’s all that is. It’s not an actual category of people — just a casual term meaning they were native-born in the Jewish homeland. A sabra is a fruit that is prickly on the outside but very sweet on the inside. But I think the whole point of being considered a sabra is about actually growing up there, being culturally and first-hand tied to the land, rather than just being born there.

        And SJ is NOT Jewish. I know she was asked about her lineage once in an interview and she *seemed* to play up the fact that she has *one* Jewish grandparent (or it might even have been a great-grandparent) but that doesn’t make a person Jewish. Unless of course she converted…

        Oh, and Natalie? Totally a snob. She just doesn’t understand that she is.

      • Mel says:

        “she *seemed* to play up the fact that she has *one* Jewish grandparent (or it might even have been a great-grandparent) but that doesn’t make a person Jewish.”

        It does, according to Judaism itself, if those ancestors were women. It’s the maternal side that counts.

        (I am referring to observant Jews, mostly. It’s SOMEWHAT similar to some black people claiming everyone who has a drop of “black” blood, no matter how distant, as being “black”. As if a person could not belong to more than one race or, indeed, more than one culture.)

    • carol says:

      I was just gonna say – isn’t the word she is looking for ‘snobbery’?

    • *Laowai* says:

      Ugh, there is no Jewish lookalike. I am Jewish…I have light skin, black hair, small nose, and green eyes. My friend is Mizrahi and looks completely different from me. Unless she is referring to some ugly caricature…there is no ‘Jewish look.’ And she hardly ‘looks Jewish’…or ‘more Jewish’ than others.

      What annoys me about Portman and Judaism is that I feel that she treats it like just another little niche that she can dig out at talk about when she wants to…and then bitch about being annoying when she wants too. That’s all it appears to be to her.

      When she tries to refer to specific aspects of Judaism, she hardly appears knowledgeable, at least to me. It’s just another thing to be exploited for its ‘specialness.’ Because, she is a very, very special snowflake.

    • Decloo says:

      ‘Snobbism” is actually a legitimate noun.

    • Crabcake says:

      Good grief she didnt say ALL Jews look a certain way or all Jews SHOULD look a certain way. Its not that hard of a concept to understand that someone can look like they belong to a specific region of the world. It’s not rude, its not racist, its a general concept with a certain amount of truth to it. No one would ever peg me for Nigerian but one could peg me for being Italian. And when it comes down to it I would agree with her and say that she does look more Jewish than Scarlett.

    • Lauren says:

      @ blue marie there is no prototype for Jews but as another poster below me said there are many different ethnic groups. There is ashkenazi (they are from central Europe or Germany. Then there are the Sephardi which originate from Spain/ were kicked out along with the Muslim Moors Under Isabella and Ferdinand’s rule. The Mezachi Jews are from North Africa and Middle East. There are very old groups of Black Jews from Ethiopia and Jews from Yemen etc. The list goes on and on but scientist have been able to determine that the three major groups listed share a common DNA from the middle east.

      Jewish is a an ethic group/ a religion but it is not a race like has been touted in a long history of ‘otherness’/ paranoia/ blood libel/ pogams and hatred against the Jews in Europe for centuries and is still touted by some bigots set in their old ways to this day. These are the sort of things/ history that tried to define them as racially different.

      Jew is not a race as there are has Jews who belong to different races. Ashkenazi are the biggest ethnic group of Jews around today as well as historically. So perhaps between Ethnic groups you could be able to tell different traits like one could with any other ethic group/ markers that are present. They have very distinct European features as they come from Central Europe.

    • JJ says:

      I think she is just dissing ScarJo for her sexy image and thinks hers is more superior because she looks Jewish.
      She is just supremely arrogant! Never liked her because of this attitude, she always thinks she is somebody better. Stupid girl, she is not even a great actress, just an annoying try hard.

  3. Sandy says:

    It’s called snobbery, Natalie.

  4. PHD gossip says:

    Does Anyone Want To Point Out How Aleph Is The Spitting Image of Darren Aronofsky?

  5. .... says:

    I remember years ago when she said she didn’t want to be “the jewish actress” or something like that. She didn’t want to do “the holocaust movies”, which I found interesting at the time.
    Anyway, Scarlett looks very (ashkenazi) jewish to me when she has dark hair.

  6. stellalovejoydiver says:

    I don´t know I can´t help but like her.
    She might not be snobby when it comes to her career choices, but she comes of quite snobby IRL.

  7. Meaghan says:

    I’m shocked everyone around here hates her. I think she is great! I like most of her movies, and she mostly stays out of the spotlight. And she is gorgeous!

    • Samtha says:

      I like her too. She’s intelligent, well-spoken and usually chooses fairly interesting projects to work on.

      • Kcaia says:

        I like her too. But the celeb personality judges on this site, and others, are extremely harsh and unforgiving, so I dont pay it much mind. The world would be a much better place if people judged themselves the way they judge others.

      • Kitten Mittens says:

        We’re all entitled to our opinions as bitchy as they are on this site. This site is a form of escapism. Not a true reflection of how we are in real life.

        Facts given by herself and her well established history have shown her to be beautiful physically, an intellectual, somewhat private, but also has a good streak of showing herself as pretentious. This is well documented. And I’m not even listing all the articles on this site that shows her as a repeat offender of having jump-offs and sleeping with men in committed relationships. Or defending a child rapist. Or comparing events that aren’t rape, to rape. Or condemning those who aren’t vegan and then giving up being vegan just because.

        Kcaia
        This site is almost entirely judgemental as is the internet. Just stating a fact.

      • mayamae says:

        Kitten Mittens –

        I could respect the shade thrown at her for signing the Roman Polanski petition if the other signers (ex Harrison Ford) even once were called out. Just like only certain people are called garbage for working with Woody Allen, while Cate Blanchett remains an elegant acting goddess who had to endure working with him. I just don’t like the hypocrisy. I’m not really directing this at you, so much as commenters across the board.

      • Kcaia says:

        Of course we are entitled to our opinions, but that doesn’t make it right or healthy to focus on negativity, whether it’s having people in our lives that don’t reciprocate the love we give them, being two faced with our friends, or going on an internet blog to put down someone you will probably never meet. It may not hurt that person or the others reading it, but it does hurt yourself to do these things. Maybe you don’t think it reflects on who you are in your life, but I think it reflects on much more than you realize. Your friends and family may not see that side of you that you don’t want them to see, but you do. You know it’s there and you are feeding it and nourishing it instead of addressing it. And I can guarantee it will show itself, whether you like it or not, in your life and in the eyes of others, who often see you clearer then you see yourself. It may show, for example, in a fight with your husband.
        As humans we are extremely talented and successful at making excuses for ourselves and denying what we already know is true. That is why we can give out advice so much better then we can use it.
        Please don’t take this as a personal insult. This is not just applicable to you, anyways. If I thought you weren’t worth my time to respond, I wouldn’t have. I am just speaking from my own life experience, and it’s hard for me to watch people do things that I once did over and over without learning the same things I did from it. There is a good and a bad side to everyone. No one is born without a devil on their shoulder. But if you choose to, you can recognize he’s there, without blaming yourself for it, and learn to ignore your bad thoughts and feelings. How? Through understanding of yourself, which leads to truly loving yourself, in a way where there is no room left to hate others for any possible reason. You can dislike their opinion or choices, without disliking the person. I just wish more people could realize what I’ve realized, then maybe we could try together to fix the real problems of the world and stop resenting everyone else’s problems and happiness.
        I know lots of people here don’t want to hear my advice, just like I didn’t want to hear it when I was in their shoes, but I hope it touches someone somewhere, even if they’d never admit it. All it took was one thought, that grew and expanded, to change my life. I come on this site like everyone else, because I like celebrity gossip and only want to read respectful, mature opinions. It’s a fun distraction from a serious life. But my opinions come from who I am, just like everyone else. I think most of the people on this site are so smart and intelligent that they’re already halfway there. They just need to look at themselves through the same eyes they judge others with. Sorry if I get too deep sometimes, but that’s how I feel. We don’t have to be cruel to entertain ourselves.

    • mayamae says:

      I think it’s only human nature to feel that those you like are being attacked, where as those you don’t like are fair game for a celebrity gossip site.

      There are certain people that I like that seem to really draw out the attacks – Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway. Anne Hathaway was pathetically begging for an Oscar for shaving her head, while Charlize Theron was a brave committed artist for shaving hers.

      It also seems (to me) over the top to accuse Natalie Portman of getting knocked up only to win an Oscar. I want to say – make up your mind. Either she deliberately got pregnant to win an Oscar, or it happened accidentally while conducting an adulterous affair with her director that she is now forcing poor simple Benjamin into claiming.

      Everyone has the right to hate her – I hate some people others adore (Charlize Theron), and feel some are treated like martyrs (Katie Holmes or even Sandra Bullock). But how fun would it be to come here and read comments that identically match my own opinions?

  8. Mar says:

    Are Mila and Scarlett Jewish too? I didn’t understand that part??

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      Yes–although Mila is part russian as well.

      I can’t really tell if people are jewish or not–I didn’t know that Natalie, Scarlet, or Mila were jewish until they said something about it.

    • phillykatt says:

      According to strict interpretation of Jewish law, you are Jewish if your mother is. Therefore, Scarlett and Natalie, who both have Jewish mothers, are considered Jewish to traditionalists, while my daughter, who has a Jewish father and two Jewish grandparents, is not. She would have to formally convert.

      Mila Kunis is Jewish and was born in Ukraine. She and her family immigrated from there partly because of the viscious anti-Semitism that still exists throughout much of eastern Europe.

      • Leen says:

        Phillycat, according to Jewish law, I believe if you embrace another religion you are no longer a Jew.
        Both of my good friends have Jewish maternal grandmothers and another two friends of mine also have Jewish mothers. Yet because all of them have Muslim fathers and were raised as Muslims, some of the sects no longer consider them Jewish (whether or not they are ethnically Jewish as well depends on your viewpoint whether Jews are a religious group or an ethnicity). This could also differ sect to sect, ashkenaz to mizrah.

      • Leen says:

        I say this because the state of Israel refused to recognise my friend’s Jewish lineage unless she converted because she was raised in the Muslim religion despite the fact that both of her grandmothers were Jewish.

  9. abijap says:

    I wanted so much to like Black Swan. But it took itself so seriously that it became ridiculous.

    It annoys me that people associate that movie with ballet.

    And she robbed Annette Bening of an Oscar.

    • duchessofhazard says:

      No, Annette Benning took herself out of an Oscar because her kid was transitioning, and it was thought that the spotlight (in terms of interviews and her being thrust forth) would have been hard on her child (I don’t know if her child did either MTF or FTM), but that’s on Benning and the choices she made for her family, not Natalie Portman… and I don’t like Ms Portman much.

      • abijap says:

        That may be so, but Bening gave the better performance. The Oscar should go to the best performance, not the best campaign.

      • Bridget says:

        So that’s what was going on? There was a lot of talk of family matters with the Benning-Beatty family at the time, but people were respectfully quiet about specifics.

      • ctkat1 says:

        Stephen Beatty is a FTM transsexual. He has a blog and is openly out at this time.

        The rumors were that Annette supported him and Warren had difficulties with it, and so Annette did press for her film but didn’t do any in-depth personal campaigning (which they almost all have to do- they all trot out some deeply personal story to tell on the campaign trail: Michelle Williams started speaking about Heath, Brad Pitt started talking about his divorce, Natalie Portman talked about her pregnancy, etc.) It’s pretty much understood at this point that if you want a nomination, you have to campaign, not just in the press but also at dozens of special screenings, Q & As, and receptions for Academy voters.

    • *Laowai* says:

      Meh, the woman that got sold out in the Oscars was Sarah Lane, not Annette Benning (although her performance was much better).

  10. putchka says:

    I liked & respected her until she was a guest on Top Chef. She acted like a snobby, self-entitled little BRAT.

  11. Emily C. says:

    Snobbism? Apparently she rejects grammar too.

  12. Quinn Parker says:

    heehee…snobbism?? Is that a noun or verb? No, I guess the verb is snobberismishting, right?

  13. K-Rock says:

    She grew up/lived one town over from me and I can attest to the “snobbism”.

    • Liberty says:

      Her mother was from Cincinnati and her grandmother still lives there. Parts of that city form a little kettle of throwback 50s-style snobbiness wherein people are judged by their high schools and ability to color ONLY within the lines (having spent time there and hearing friends there who complain about this all the time even though they are from golden ticket families). Perhaps she was thinking of that too.

  14. Val says:

    Girl must have some long-ass cuticles if she can bite them.

  15. wonderwoman21 says:

    I’ve honestly never thought she was very beautiful, mostly just plain. Never got the hype.

  16. JaNIL says:

    Natalie Portman must have been a really desperate actress to take that role in “Black Swan”. It is basically a porn film. One of the sex scenes in the movie almost made me vomit (for real). She has now established herself as a porn actress.

    There is no amount of money that anyone could pay me to star in such a disgusting film. And I am FAR from being a prude.

  17. Apples says:

    God she is so fake. I can not stand her or her acting.

  18. j.eyre says:

    I am more bothered by the fact that the red dress she is wearing confuses me. I cannot make that thing out.

  19. Lisa says:

    Actions speak louder than words do, Natalie. I’ll believe your rejection of “snobbism” when I see it.

  20. JLM says:

    I thought she’s supposed to be so brilliant, but her favorite word appears to be “like”, and she uses non-words like “snobbism” – give me a break.

    As for the whole Jewish thing, what movies has she been in, or been offered, that explicitly have her being Jewish? I must not be paying attention!

  21. TheOriginalKitten says:

    New York is where art is “bought” more than made?

    WTF is she talking about? I have 8 professional artist friends, living in NYC who would very strongly disagree with her statement.

    • Beatrix says:

      Yeah, this part pissed me off the most. There is a lot of money controlled by a small section of the population in NY, but that is really no different from LA, I’m not sure what she means by saying that NYers can only purchase art, not create it. NYC is home to an endless supply of innovative creators and artists and it is incredibly narrow-minded to think that LA is home to more or better artists. (Some may argue quite the opposite, to be honest…)

    • poppy says:

      but like, that’s her like, rejecting the snobbism of the art world!
      seriously, ITA with you.
      she does herself a real disservice when she tries to sound more ejukated/werldly/kultterd than she really is.

  22. Jackson says:

    I know most around these parts can’t stand NP but I’ve always more or less liked her. I think maybe people misinterpret some of her comments or read more into things than are really there.

  23. Samtha says:

    If “snobbism” is good enough for Merriam-Webster, it’s good enough for me.

    Those pictures barely look like her.

  24. Em says:

    She’s so full of it.
    LA people(entertainment) always need to bring up NY when they’re complementing their city..

  25. Kait says:

    “I grew up around a lot of snobbism and I really *project* that.”

    Fixed that for you Natalie.

  26. bettyrose says:

    I like her. She is stunning, smart, and talented. Yeah she can be annoying too, but geezus she’s a gorgeous former child star who was plucked from obscurity one lucky day, went to Harvard, transitioned effortlessly into adult roles, and has lived a pretty blessed existence. I’d be annoying too.

  27. Fan says:

    I have always admired her. She is a beauty and brain.

  28. *Laowai* says:

    Portman is one of the most stuck-up, notoriously frigid people in Hollywood. She regularly polls as one of the rudest celebs on fanboy sites. All of which makes her desire to break from snobbism quite a surprise…I get that she is trying to rehabilitate her frosty bitch image, but tryharding does not favors. Doing is more than saying…and if you can’t do, you look really lame when you say.

    Calling actresses who take roles that don’t appeal to them ‘prostitutes’, throwing an accomplished career artist under the rug so you can look impressive in your little Oscar campaign, and spending years dissing the very fans that made you…is all very much ‘snobbism’, I’m afraid.

  29. Lempicka says:

    had to laugh so hard reading this headline my phone fell on the floor.

  30. Lempicka says:

    Had to laugh so hard reading this my phone fell on the floor.

  31. Lisa says:

    Ahem. I believe the term is ‘snobbery’, Natalie.

    *sips tea with pinkie in air*

  32. caitrin says:

    *Laowai*–Actually, there IS such thing as being only “part” Jewish, or “half Jewish”, and to say otherwise is to deny that an entire group of people exists. Under most forms of Judaism, Jewishness is believed to be carried on through the mother, so that under conservative and Orthodox Judaism, for example, a person who is Jewish through only their father is not considered Jewish at all. Even then, of course, they are genetically half Jewish, but no more so than wherever genetic half their mother is. My cousin and best friend has a Dutch mother and a Jewish father, and belongs to the Lutheran religion, and most certainly does consider herself to be HALF Jewish–which she absolutely is.

    • lafrenchy says:

      @Caitrin:

      We can be “genetically jewish” really?

      As in one can have his/her faith incorporated in his/her DNA?…Really?

    • *Laowai* says:

      Actually, there is no such thing as being part Jewish. Read up on your Halacha…it, and not you or your friend, defines Judaism, Jewish identity, and the like. You are Christian, you practice Christianity. Be proud of your heritage. But, for the love of everything…don’t redefine another religion so that you can feel like a special snowflake. It’s very annoying to people who actually practice that religion.

      The idea that Jewishness is genetic is an ugly concept with an ugly history. The Nazis loved it, the Jews themselves never held to it.

      • Barhey says:

        @ Laowai, I understand your point of view, but that’s not even mutually agreed upon in the Jewish community. Most of my friends and acquaintances who define themselves as Jewish do so from an ethnicity standpoint, not from a religious standpoint.

        You could deny that they are Jewish, but they will absolutely be offended by that claim – it’s how they define themselves and the world around them.

      • *Laowai* says:

        It’s not a point of view, it is a matter of definition. One can be an atheist or secular Jew according to that definition (which I pretty much am), but it does not make room for being ‘part Jewish’.

        Within the community, it is pretty much understood that we are not a genetic entity. An ethnic culture, yes…but that does not mean that you can still be part-Jewish, part whatever. That is a VERY noncontroversial opinion.

      • bettyrose says:

        *Laowai* – I’ve debated all day getting involved in this discussion. I hate this topic, but I know it so well. This is such a constant topic in secular Jewish culture. In secular Jewish day camp as a child, they used to repeat the “no such thing as half-Jewish” mantra as a form of inclusion, to remind those of us with one Jewish parent -especially if that parent was dad- that if we feel Jewish and think of ourselves as Jewish, then we ARE Jewish. That wasn’t good enough for me. I truly wanted to feel that I belonged to something more important and larger than myself, so I had a conservative conversion (which does – check your facts – make me eligible for Israeli citizenship, should I want it. And, yes, I have lived in Israel and so basically speak Hebrew). I also “look” Jewish. Whatever that means. In my case, it means I look like a less horsey Sarah Jessica Parker, big frizzy hair and all. My entire life complete strangers have just assumed that I am and identify as being Jewish. I do, culturally, very much because I have always identified that way and always been identified that way by others. Do I believe a scary, vengeful ghost in the sky judges me at every moment – especially because my mother wasn’t born Jewish? No, I stopped believing in ghost stories years ago. My life partner is not Jewish. My life no longer revolves around the Jewish community. But there goddamn is such a thing as 1/2, 3/4 Jewish, or just feeling Jewish for the day. It is not up to you or any ancient text to define what it means to be Jewish in modern secular society. And those of us with Jewish ancestry have every right to believe it is part of who we are.

      • RdyfrmycloseupmrDvlle says:

        Yeah, I get what your saying but no, I live in NYC and practically saying…on a day to day real world mode Im going to have to disagree with you across the board. Most everyone here views their Jewishness by genetics and ancestry, how many relatives etc. I cant count how many friends I have here that have a jewish mother or father only and consider themselves part jewish. And, in todays mixed society, I think it would be really offensive to exclude them or tell them they are wrong for being or feeling part jewish. WTF? Thats like telling someones whos half black and half white their excluded from either or because their “ONLY” partly one race or the other. Not cool.

      • Samantha says:

        WTF??? I am Jewish, and I have never known anyone in any Jewish community who was ever comfortable with the idea of a genetic identity–given its UGLY history and everything. And certainly no one who really viewed ‘part Jewish’ as a real thing. Even in very secular communities, the expression ‘part Jewish’ will raise eyebrows.

        It is not offensive to anyone to hold to the terms of inclusion/exclusion within a cultural group. Jewish people have no obligation to make anyone who wants to declare themselves ‘part Jewish’ offical…what a stupid notion! What if I wanted to be part Buddhist? Or demand an EU passport based on my Italian immigrant grandfather?

        What is offensive–and beyond arrogant–is to announce that a cultural group has to redefine itself in order to accomadate a slew of Special Snowflakes.

      • bettyrose says:

        So then is it okay with you gatekeepers of Judaism to say “my parents and ancestors practiced Judaism. I do not practice it and thus I am not Jewish. However, I was raised in Jewish traditions and identity culturally with being Jewish but have been told that ancestry and cultural practices alone are not sufficient for identifying as Jewish so really I’m nothing. ”
        That’s a mouthful. It would be so much easier just to say “part Jewish. “

  33. Miss so and so says:

    She is far to educated to be using … like! Ever other sentence has like in it! Like, please use your, like fancy education!

  34. Renee says:

    Geez people. Snobbism is actually a word. It’s not common but it’s a word.

  35. Jane says:

    I hate snobs, *moves to Paris*. Say what?

  36. paranormalgirl says:

    I have a close friend who used to post here who lived next door to Natalie Portman (in Sea Cliff, NY.) She could tell you a few things about the snobbery that Ms Portman projects.

  37. jaskie says:

    She is trying to bring back whatever little fans she has left. Face it, no one likes her anymore. And really? She is the one to talk about snobs? She one of the rudest Hollywood actresses according to alot of fans and non-fans. I have friends who went to high school with this twit, she was an a–hole according to them. She wasn’t even that famous of a child star either like she keeps projecting. Not like JTT, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Maculay Culkin, Boy meets World Cast. They were household names whereas she wasn’t until Star Wars. She also wants a cameo appearence in the news movies lol.
    She also isn’t doing well with her post-Oscar career. She thought she would get roles like Cate Blanchett but she all is doing is franchises and crap indies. Like she was doing before. The Oscar hasn’t helped her at all.
    I also did not like her comment about actors being hollywood prostitutes. So is she one herself? Since she made millions off of Star Wars. The movie she won an Oscar for had awful sex scenes in it too.

  38. Caz says:

    You know, like, I just don’t know what to say about Natalie anymore. Like I really liked her in The Professional years ago with that great actor who’s name I’m embarrassed to say I forget. But then she was in those awful Star Wars movies and her performance was like so gob-smackingly wooden I not so much like her anymore. And like, Black Swan was just so like overrated.

    Seriously, any number of actresses could have played the role in Thor. And appeared in Dior ads.

  39. rep says:

    Smith, I agree, Natalie is not .pretty, not ugly, but nothing special the way I hear certain people speak of her. Jessica Alba was pretty in that ocean treasure movie, but not anymore. I have been wanting to talk about that for the longest.

  40. Meggin says:

    Ehh, I like Natalie but I don’t buy that she isn’t snobby. She can be rather uppity.

  41. Tiffany :) says:

    “you really have to TRY to make her look this washed out and dead-eyed and like a Twilight extra”

    This is so dead on it is jaw dropping. She DOES look like an extra on Twilight! Did they intentionally maker her eyes red?

  42. raincoaster says:

    Am I the ONLY one to call her on her “vices?” Somehow she left “smoking” off the list.

  43. Katie says:

    She was in that movie “Your Highness” so I don’t think she’s all that snobbish

  44. RHONYC says:

    “Oh, and I can go into a Food Network hole.”

    thank GOD! i thought i was the only one!
    FN & HGTV can keep me in the house for days-at-time. 8O

  45. Joan V. says:

    “usually people who are haunted by the paparrazi say they don’t want it, but they do”–truest statement made. You don’t HAVE to be photographed all the time. It’s what the psychos do who know that all their talent is resting on their personal lives. Thank you, Darren.

  46. Kassis says:

    Wasn’t Natalie Portman one of the celebrities who signed that petition to exonerate Roman Polanski from his crime of raping a 13 year old? She’s fairly nasty in more ways than one.

  47. Rafi says:

    She, like, says like, like, quite a bit.