Natalie Portman Leon: The Professional Audition

"Is life always this hard, or just when you're a kid?" Mathilda

"Is life always this hard, or just when you're a kid?"  Mathilda

Winning Audition

Natalie Portman's original audition for the film Leon: The Professional (1994).

Directed by Luc Besson.

Stars Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman among many others.

I enjoy watching, studying and learning from other actors auditions. In this audition you can already see that Natalie at such a young age had a good grasp of the character Mathilda during the audition. Natalie has very expressive eyes and face. The audition also shows off young Natalie's ability to let forth the subtext of the character. This is amazing considering how young Natalie was. Little Ms. Portman is also showing through her expressive eyes an actor who is constantly thinking. Watch Natalie in her Oscar winning role in Darren Aronofsky's, Black Swan (2010) and you will see how well she has developed her ability to express her characters thoughts through her eyes.

There seems to be about three parts to the audition from the breaks in the tape. Auditioning requires poise, stamina and fearlessness to survive multiple auditions. Sometimes the director knows right off you are what they are looking for. Other times you end up having to come back several times over many days, weeks and even months. Auditions make job interviews seem like an afternoon nap at the park. Enjoy!

Trivia - Natalie was 11 years old at the time of the audition and was turned down by casting director Todd M. Thaler. She re-auditioned and the director, Luc Besson was, so impressed with her emotional range that he offered Natalie the part on the spot.