Natalie Portman & Benjamin Millepied are moving to Paris full-time for his job

This news is… surprising. For several different reasons. Us Weekly (and other outlets) are reporting that Natalie Portman is moving to Paris full-time because her husband, Benjamin Millepied, has gotten a job to be the director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. This is surprising because A) a lot of us thought he was a Ballet K-Fed who was going to use Natalie’s connections to build a career for himself in Hollywood and B) I never thought Natalie would be the kind of woman who would give up her home (NYC and LA) for her man. Surprise!

Natalie Portman and her family are getting ready to say au revoir to Hollywood. The Black Swan star’s husband, French dancer-choreographer Benjamin Millepied, has been tapped to be the new director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet starting September 2014, the New York Times announces. Millepied, 35, told the paper that he and Portman, 31, will move to the French metropolis for the position with Aleph, their 20-month-old son.

Overcoming current or former members of the company to nab the spot, Millepied replaces Brigitte Lefevre, the director of dance at the Paris Opera since 1995, who is retiring after the 2013-2014 season. “I was surprised, but I felt very quickly that the artistic dialogue between us was an exciting one,” Millepied told the Times of Stéphane Lissner, who will become the Opera’s new artistic director in 2015. “After a while I did feel there was a really good chance I might get the position. Which made my head spin.”

Millepied met Portman on the set of Black Swan in 2009 (he was its choreographer and had a small onscreen role), with the twosome announcing their engagement — and Portman’s pregnancy — in December 2010. Born in Bordeaux, France, the handsome dad became a star dancer with the City Ballet in 2002.

With Portman giving birth to Aleph in June 2011, Millepied retired from the stage that same year, founding the L.A. Dance Project — a small, experimental troupe — in 2012. (Millepied told the Times he hopes the troupe will continue after his departure.)
He and Portman married at a private home in Big Sur, Calif. on Aug. 4 of last year, with the movie star wearing an A-line white dress by Rodarte, the label run by Portman’s pals, sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy.

[From Us Weekly]

In the beginning of Benjamin and Natalie’s relationship, there were a number of (bitchy) reports about Benjamin’s talents – sources claimed that his real gift was for self-promotion and raising money for the New York City Ballet rather than, you know, actual ballet. Over the past few years, there have been various reports on Natalie and Benjamin’s arguments about where they were going to build a home, based on her career and his, and for a moment it seemed like Benjamin was going to give up dancing to be a stay-at-home dad. I guess not!

Here’s my question though – do you think Benjamin is only going to sign on year by year? Or is this an open-ended position which could have the family permanently relocated in Paris?

Some photos of Natalie earlier this week:

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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86 Responses to “Natalie Portman & Benjamin Millepied are moving to Paris full-time for his job”

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  1. PHD Gossip says:

    Great photo of Aleph looking like a mini me Aronofsky.

    • brin says:

      Ooo la la!

    • mimifarrow says:

      Oh burrrrrn, I love it.

    • normades says:

      I always thought those rumors were really harsh and unfair, but you are so right. He DOES look like a mini DA.

    • Violet says:

      Ha ha, +1!

    • Xera says:

      Aleph is the spitting image of her father

    • Eve says:

      Totally agree with you!

      • Christina says:

        I agree that from some angles the baby does look strikingly like Aronofsky. But aren’t the dates wrong? Wasn’t Aleph likely conceived long after shooting on ‘Black Swan’ had wrapped?

      • Eve says:

        I don’t know…he was born on June, 14 2011 — so he was conceived around September/October 2010 (someone correct me if I’m wrong).

        The rumour/conspirancy theory I read was that she was dating both during production, got pregnant but didn’t know who the father was — stuck with Millipied to avoid the scandal of having her very committed director’s baby (around that time, Aronofsky dropped out of Wolverine’s sequel, citing “personal problems” — he and hs then fiancée Rachel Weisz were splitting).

      • Christina says:

        I reckon if Millepied was her award season ‘beard’ then she’d have kept him around until she’d got her hands on that statuette, then quietly dumped him a few months later. Instead, she married him and now is moving to Paris with him. So their romance does appear to be genuine.

        Part of me would love to believe the Aronofsky story – mainly because I confess to finding Herschlag to be one of the most insufferable people in Hollywood and would happily believe just about anything bad about her – but I reckon the facts seem to be against any juicy scandal here.

      • Eve says:

        @ Christina:

        I honestly believe she’s capable of something like that — choose the “more appropriate” partner and stick with him for the sake of appearances (and to avoid a major scandal). If she had dumped him right after the awards season, it’d be pretty obvious he was bearding for her.

        There’s something really off about this woman — I can never shake the feeling that she’s a cold hearted bitch, capable of doing anything to get what she wants.

      • Eve says:

        Sorry, couldn’t edit my comment anymore — I meant:

        “If she had dumped him right after the awards season, it’d have become pretty obvious he was bearding for her.”

    • GByeGirl says:

      And he looks just like his son with Rachel Weisz!

  2. carrie says:

    The last director of L Opera de Paris is stayed more 15 years at her job so i think they share their times between Paris& the Europe and USA
    And Paris is near Lyon where Millepied’s family lives

  3. Ranunculus says:

    I feel sorry for the people of Paris, and I hope I don’t run into her next year. Ugh the woman is soooo annoying!

    • Lolitalola says:

      Pray for me, then. Don’t ask me why but I guess since Black Swan, every single time I read her name somewhere, I can’t help but to roll my eyes like crazy.
      I. just. can’t. with. her.

      • Agnes says:

        neither can I . ugh .

      • Eve says:

        I can’t stand her either. Whenever I see people complaining about Anne Hathaway’s Oscar campaign (which is annoying, I agree) I want to say: “Well, it’s still not as low as Portman’s”.

    • French reader says:

      This. I’m pretty sure they won’t move into my neighbourhood (too “populaire”, ha!). I expect them to maybe settle for a bobo place, around Bastille or the Canal St Martin. If they want to go more upscale, probably not some uber posh place like the 8th or the 16th, but something more trendy (but still expensive) like the 6th, 5th, Marais, etc.

      • Ranunculus says:

        I hope they don’t stroll around Marais too much and ruin the beautiful atmosphere there. I wonder what sophisticated Parisians think of Portman seeing herself as being sooo European.
        What a pretentious idiot!

  4. Lizzie says:

    I really like these two. Sure, she’s a little cloying at times, but whatev’s.

  5. MoxyLady007 says:

    For a family with less money for travel or a wife with a different job, this would be a much bigger deal.

  6. Daz says:

    I offer to drive them to the airport

  7. Dap says:

    There was a complete portrayal of B.Millepied in Le Monde a few days ago (it’s here if you can read French: I was surprised to learn how talented and successful they considered him. He was born in Africa, always loved dancing, left his family to pursue his dream at the early age of 13 (and then at 16 for the states). Always worked, always tried new things. Reading this piece, I totally understand why N.Portman felt in love with him.

    • carrie says:

      Yesterday i posted several articles on his nomination here and he’s really talented .I saw one of his play at Lyon more one year ago and it’s pretty good .Nathalie Portman was there with his family and she was so proud of him.
      I have nothing against Portman(she deserves her Oscar) except she dislike that you says her that her son is big
      I don’t understand why the hatred of Portman ,Hathaway or Cooper! Okay they campaign/ed hard for the Oscar but it doesn’t deserve the hatred

    • BabySwans says:

      Before I begin, I wanted to explain that I trained to be a professional ballet dancer-I am not a know it all. I am however speaking from experience.

      I agree-extremely talented & had an extensive professional résumé with top ballet companies & acclaimed choreography before Natalie. It seems that the people who labeled him as the equivalent of a KFed or Casper Smart no nothing about ballet. Ballet is not the same as a back up dancer. It takes years and years of practice-you can’t just learn ballet off the streets or from a competition studio like what you see on Dance Moms (I realize many back up dancers are trained and I am not dismissing their talent). Most professionals give there families up around 16 to either apprentice with a company or live at their boarding school. You train 8-12 hours a day, 6 days a week. I won’t even mention the injuries and bloodied feet.

      You don’t have to like him, but please a little respect for the art & the people who are helping it grow. Please stop referring to him as a KFed. He had a well established career before her. If you don’t believe me YouTube some of his old videos off the New York City Ballet channel.

      • MJ says:

        I agree. I’m not a dancer, but I worked as a coordinator with a small company for a while when I was younger. It wasn’t anything near Millipied’s calibre of company, but I know what Director of Dance means. People seem to be talking down his talent for fundraising, promotion, and the administrative side of his skill set, but those are very important aspects of a Director position with an esteemed company like the Paris Opera Ballet or New York City Ballet. Ticket sales don’t pay for their entire budget, people! Someone has to make those connections and he is high-profile enough to make it work.

      • Migdalia says:

        I don’t think anyone labeled him as a K-Fed type in terms of dancing but more so as a mooch off his Hollywood known wife. I don’t even think K-Fed dances anymore and neither does Casper unless its for JLo’s performances and yes they’re only back up dances not choreographers.

      • Babalon says:

        This. You really spared them a lot of the insane details in your second paragraph but +1.

      • Mazunte says:

        Thank you so much for your sagacious comment. I practiced ballet only for 8 years. Nonetheless, I have seen many of Benjamin’s videos, including his choreographies, and I think he is super talented.
        Just because a non-star dates a movie start, that doesn’t mean that he/she is after promotion, etc. Why do people have to try to find something nasty about every story? Benjamin deserves some respect.

      • Boo says:

        I agree with these comments, I always thought it absurd that he was labeled a K-Fed. To be a principal at The New York City you can’t JUST have a talent for self promotion and money raising. Obviously the guy is ambitious, anyone who gets positions of power is but you wouldnt get through the door at the new york city ballet unless you have considerable talent. Its one of the best companies in the world and the competition to even get into the corpse de ballet is very stiff, never mind to be promoted to soloist or principal. As someone who studied ballet when i was younger and still follows the art form i can assure you that this guy is on a very high level, I have also heard great things about the company he started in Los angeles. He might actually be the more talented of this couple.

      • willa says:

        Ok…he has talent as a dancer etc. But do really think he would have gotten that job without being married to Natalie POrtman? I don’t think so.

  8. marie says:

    meh, well he’s French so there was always a possibility that they could move to France. She works on locations so it would be easier for her to fly around right? Plus she’s pretentious and probably feels like she will fit in better with the ballet folk.. although it does give her husband easier access to the younger dancers, did they cheat together? who did she cheat with? I can’t remember..

    • Alexandra Bananarama says:

      You’re spot on.

      The whole cheating bit was like aniston and justin. He had a longterm relationship. There was overlap when he got with portman.

      If they were/are having fights about this move to Paris i’d mark her as the type to make sacrifices in order to keep the marriage together. Not solely out of love, but more to project a wholesome perfect image.

    • Raven says:

      She’ll likely have some good opportunities to work in Europe and money is likely not an issue. I think it seems like a good deal for both of them.

  9. bea says:

    I’m certain he was chosen (at least in part) due to his “star power” via his marriage to her.

  10. Lilalis says:

    I’m jealous! Paris is an amazing city and if I could afford it, I would move there in a heartbeat!

    • lin234 says:

      Agreed! It’s not like living in Paris is such a hardship.

    • megs283 says:

      Yeah – can you imagine?? Now if only House Hunters International would get their house search….then I’d have some “living in a mansion in Paris” shots to fuel my daydreams.

    • Meredith says:

      I have just had 2 students move into my house in Toronto from France. I too would move to Paris in a heartbeat. Too exciting! The markets, the museums, the culture. I would so go there.

  11. annabelle says:

    They don’t seem like LA people anyway, and surely they have a place on each coast for her work, but it’s not like she’s giving up her office job in Toledo to be with her man. She works all over the world at a job that is extremely mom friendly.
    This seems like a good fit for them, he gets to be a big shot, so less likely to resent her success, she gets to be snooty and Goopy and keep her career, everyone wins.

  12. serena says:

    Well it’s not permanent, I guess they would stay a couple of years and then go back to L.A.

  13. T.C. says:

    It doesn’t matter where she lives in the world she will always have to fly someone else for her job anyway. These two are big city people with lots of money. They can live in NY, Paris or London. Sucks that he is going to abandon his recently formed L.A. Dance Project. Natalie Portman comes across as traditional so no surprise she got the kid, the husband and is moving to where the husband found work.

  14. mln76 says:

    A ton of celebrities live in France I doubt it will affect her career a bit.
    I guess I can no longer think of him or call him the Ballet K-Fed.

  15. tracking says:

    I always said he was given a bad rap and that his dance credentials were excellent (yes he seems a little narcissistic, but how many artists don’t?). Good for him. And living in Paris for a while is a great opportunity for everyone. She can focus on films with European locations, have more babies, whatever. Nice life!

  16. OhDear says:

    She’s a big enough star that moving away from NYC/LA isn’t a big deal.

    Halle Berry must be seething with jealousy now.

  17. Birdix says:

    that us weekly quote is from the nytimes, who broke the story (in the US), just to give credit where it is due

  18. lucy2 says:

    I’ve never understood why he got labeled as a K-Fed to begin with, he’s always had an accomplished career.

    Sounds nice to me – he gets a dream job, she’ll probably slow down a bit to be with the baby, or travel as needed for work like most actors do. Plus they get to live in Paris, so I’m jealous!

  19. MsAubra says:


    Bon voyage Madmoiselle Pertentious

  20. snappyfish says:

    the people who think natalie is only moving to paris because her husband wants to move have obviously never been to paris.

  21. banarang says:

    She looks pretty in the pic with the navy dress

  22. Ok says:

    Portman is moving to Paris. Very highbrow. Natalie will be fine with it especially when her bilingual, well traveled, multi-cultural child out-snoots all the other children on the playground.

    Now if Benjamine asked her to move to someplace low-brow… Detroit…… Oh there would be a divorce in the works.
    (And by the way, I am from Detroit in case you are gonna snap all over me)

    I like him. But there is something about her that bugs me for some reason. Probably just some bad jealousy on my part:(

  23. Christina says:

    Does this mean we won’t have to see her miserable pouty face in overrated films anymore? If so, I’m breaking out the champagne!

  24. valleymiss says:

    That’s really wonderful of Benji to raise Darren Aronofsky’s son. :-D

  25. G says:

    Poor girl!!! The Parisians are a lot of things but hospitable to les etrangeres they most certainly are not. I am a total Francophile and got close to moving their permanently but ultimately backed out because while its fun and beautiful, you never ever really can let your guard down.

    • GoodCapon says:

      Ms. Pretentious is a celebrity so I think it’s a different ball game. I’m sure even the Parisians would bend over backwards for her.

  26. apsutter says:

    Good for him! They made him director of Paris Opera Ballet and that is a very big deal. I would bet that Natalie loves France too. She just seems like a European kind of girl. I don’t think it’s a big deal they’re moving cause she’s not a Hollywood type anyways and will still get plenty of roles.

  27. mimi says:

    Gosh, I feel for her. She will be stuck in a very different culture, a very different language, no friendly to English at all, and to raise her child there, far from her family and friends, seems so lonely.

    There’s a huge difference between visiting or traveling for 2 months and reloacting.

    Had she been younger or childless, then that could have been a different story, but, if anything she would need her family and friends now and to raise a very small child in such a different culture in such a different way than the way you were brought up, seems just sad to me.

    Most people don’t realize that when 2 people from different countries get married or start a family, it’s a totally different thing than the romantic appeal of the beginning.

    In the end of the day, if you are going to raise your children in a different culture and live far away from all the people you love, then that must suck.

    • Boxy Lady says:

      Natalie is originally from Israel and Hebrew is her first language. Her mother is American so the problems of the two different cultures marrying you’re referring to seems to be a repeated situation in her family. Because of that (and I think Natalie already speaks some French), I think these two will be alright.

    • Loira says:

      I think that when you choose someone who is originally from other country and especially with that kind of job, means tht you have to be open to the possibility of relocating.
      She seems to be taking the role of traditional wife seriously, so I think she will try hard to make herself at home, particularly considering that his family will get to see them more often. Also, Paris is a cosmopolitan city, she will find anything she needs there and their child will be exposed. To more cultures and languages.

  28. Kosmos says:

    Well, it seems like a kind of wonderful, fantasy life that most of us do not get to have.

  29. James says:

    I still think this dude is sorta using her for his own reasons. Anyone else agree? I don’t know why but I don’t really like him.
    I used to like her and Anne Hatheway but man their Oscar campaiging was too obvious.

  30. skuddles says:

    I think Michael K from DListed said it best:

    Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied are twirling and leaping their way to Paris. And yes, a double will do Natalie’s twirling and leaping for her…


  31. PrincessDi says:

    Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

  32. Moi says:

    Ummm is their baby a ginger? I’m on my iPhone and couldn’t tell for sure. If so, that is my new favorite celeb baby. A ginger with that face? I most likely have an unhealthy obsession with gingers. And I can’t help but be a little envious when I hear that certain people are going to be making Paris their new home. Oy.

  33. Starlight says:

    It is really unfair to compare Benjamin to Kfed and Casper.

  34. Amy says:

    This is the only website I’ve seen Benjamin Millepied labeled as a K Fed type person. I saw him perform on stage with the NYCB while he was still dancing with them. Like a poster said above, a lot of people here seem to be equating ballet with hip hop or lyrical or the kind of dance you pick up on the street. You do not join the New York City Ballet as a “K Fed.” K Fed dancers do not go near the NYCB with a ten foot pole. If you know anything about the history of NYCB, then you know about George Balanchine–and if you don’t, then look him up. The guy made the NYCB what it is today and any dancer who joins the NYCB is pretty much on that level of ballet.

    Millepied was already well known in the ballet world before Portman came along. Sure, he got more exposure after he started dating her, but he was already doing fine in his career. Portman obviously didn’t help him get this job in Paris. She can’t help him in the ballet world, the girl isn’t a ballerina (as we already know since this was dissected to pieces during her Oscar nomination!).

    • willa says:

      As you said he was well known in the ballet world (!). Now you can read about him on That’s a big difference and caused by his relationship. And if you have read a bit about his new job and how he got this job it’s pretty obvious his new boss went for publicity.
      Natalie Portman is no ballerina but she definitely helped him – just because she’s famous!

  35. Nan says:

    I always wondered what was up with her baby because he clearly resembles SOMEBODY, just not really her and definitely not her husband. I had never read any of the Aronofsky rumors though until this post’s comments. I Googled and omg, he completely resembles Aronofsky and his little son w/ Rachel Weisz too. Wow — that’s just crazy! Aleph is a cute little tyke — love that grumpy expression.

  36. tricklady says:

    Good,wish she would take Anne Hathaway with her!

  37. cynicalsmirk says:

    Well, she’ll get film offers from anywhere, whereas he has to go to where the job is. He is fortunate, this is an extremely prestigious appointment, and he wouldn’t have been awarded it if he wasn’t capable and accomplished. He’s obviously ambitious in his own right,not riding his wife’s coattails or living off of her money (at least, not entirely). I say, good for him, and congratulations.

  38. Bess says:

    I was surprised that they moved to LA in the first place because Portman seems very close to her parents in NY.

  39. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    This guy is bad news–

    I bet he was miserable being away from Paris after the initial newness of LA wore off. Now she has to keep him happy for the sake of their child so she is going to give up where she’s happiest.

    This guy is gonna cheat on her. She was so desperate to win him & to keep him. Careful what you wish for.

    • Dap says:

      Except, he never lived in Paris before, so I hardly see how he could miss it

    • Timse says:

      I am sorry but Natalie could have done much better then this guy! I agree he seems like bad news. Like come on how did he become the face of Yvs Saint Laurent? He doesn’t have the looks or isn’t a star or model. Its obvious that he got hired through Natalie.
      I wish she ended up with someone like Jake Gyhellnhal or Hayden Christensen( Yes He might be a bad actor but hes so good looking) Unlike this buggy man. He ugly as hell and seems very sneaky.

  40. Carolyn says:

    See Mila…there is a way to look totally casual and not sloppy :)

  41. Kate says:

    Alright, but everyone knows Russia is the place to be when it comes to a prestigious place in ballet.