Natalie Portman Defends Her Eating Habits to Vogue

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Photo: Peter Lindbergh for Vogue

Vogue's January cover girl, Natalie Portman, plays an anorexic ballerina in Black Swan. The intense dance and athletic training leading up to the filming — which got up to eight hours a day six months before shooting — left Portman in "constant pain," she tells the magazine. Joan Juliet Buck writes, "Like most dancers, she survived on coffee and ibuprofen, and slept five hours a night." But has she fully moved on from that stringent regime?

Vogue, which is full of pictures of skinny people, unusually questions Portman's eating habits during her interview.

A vegetarian at home and a vegan when out, she orders a thoroughly eccentric meal: field greens followed by a soft pretzel with mustard, and an elderflower spritzer.

“Is that it?” I ask.

"I swear, I eat. I ate a bagel an hour ago. I consume my own weight in hummus every day. I cook a lot, and I even do vegan baking.

“I like pleasure, I like joy. I’d never get to the point where I would starve or injure myself like Nina does. I’m the opposite—when I’m hungry, I eat, and I always make sure I’m eating something delicious. I’m tough on myself in terms of the standards I want to live up to, but that’s also part of my pleasure: knowing you are being your fullest self. Being your fullest self is a lot of work.”

As is being a vegan, no? Is it a shock one would come off as a high-maintenance eater? It's not easy to be a vegan and order a fatty meal at a restaurant.

Natalie Portman: Spreading Her Wings [Vogue]