Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman's father never wanted her to be an actress.

The 35-year-old film star has admitted she decided she wanted to embark on a career in the movie industry when she was 11 years old, but her decision go down well with her parent who, even years into her profession, urged her to go to law school and become a "professor or a doctor or a lawyer" because he thought Natalie would feel more "fulfilled".

The 'Black Swan' actress - who has five-year-old Aleph and is expecting her second child with her husband Benjamin Millepied - told Michelle Williams in a conversation with Variety magazine: "Someone was saying recently: Think about what you love when you're 11. Adults who are feeling lost, try and regain that. And it's funny that they pinpointed that age, because you say you started then. That's when I started. I feel that there is something around that time where you do have an instinct about what you really love.

"I don't know where it came from, because there's no one in my family who was ever a performer. I came from such a serious, academic family, where the only thing that was acceptable was to be very literate and educated -- you become a professor or a doctor or a lawyer. My dad pulled me aside when I was 25 and was like, 'I think it's time for you to go to law school or grad school.' Not that he was saying that acting was bad, but more that he was like, 'I think you'll be more fulfilled if you have something more -- like a life of the mind.'

"So it took me a while, coming from that background, to be like, 'This is what I want, and this is what I love. I enjoy this.'"

And the brunette beauty - who wrote, starred in and directed Hebrew saga 'A Tale of Love and Darkness' has hinted her father's plans for her future inspired her to direct.

She added: "Especially with what I chose to direct -- it was so serious. I think it's definitely motivated me to try other things, because I do find myself more fulfilled when I feel like I'm learning something from what I'm doing and pushing myself to new places."