Natalie Portman recently opened up about her experience as a child actress, and the many times she was sexualized by her peers. Speaking on Dax Shepard‘s Armchair Expert podcast, the 39-year-old actress admitted that she has been afraid at times because of that. “I was definitely aware of the fact that I was being portrayed … as this ‘Lolita’ figure,” Natalie shared.
“Being sexualized as a child, I think took away from my own sexuality because it made me afraid and it made me like the way I could be safe was to be like, ‘I’m conservative,’ and ‘I’m serious and you should respect me,’ and ‘I’m smart,’ and ‘don’t look at me that way.’ ”
She continued, “Whereas at that age, you do have your own sexuality and you do have your own desire, and you do want to explore things and you do want to be open. But you don’t feel safe, necessarily, when there’s older men that are interested, and you’re like, ‘No, no, no, no.’ ”
Natalie also revealed that because of the attention, she started to build walls. “So many people had this impression of me that I was super serious and conservative … and I realized I consciously cultivated that because it was always to make me feel safe,” she shared. “Like, ‘Oh, if someone respects you, they’re not gonna objectify you.’”
Natalie added, “When I was in my teens I was like, ‘I don’t wanna have any love scenes or make-out scenes.’ I would start choosing parts that were less sexy because it made me worried about the way I was perceived and how safe I felt.”