Portman Wants to Talk About Microloans, Not Movies

Teams with Jordan's queen to help women

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User

Posted Oct 7, 2008 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Among Hollywood actresses, Natalie Portman may be an anomaly. “As opposed to talking about fashion,” the 27-year-old says she prefers discussing poverty alleviation. The Israeli-American discovered FINCA International, a microfinance program for women, through her inspiration, Jordan’s Queen Rania, a Palestinian and an “incredible woman whom I really admire,” Portman tells USA Today.

Working with poor women in Uganda and Guatemala has taught Portman she is “really the minority” as an “educated woman who can feed herself.” She’s learned to curb the “accumulation mentality” rampant among her peers. When “you meet people who have one shirt,” it gives pause, the actress says. “If I have 40 shirts, why would I ever buy anything more?"

Natalie Portman poses at the photo call for the film 'Eve' in Venice last month.   (AP Photo)
Portman says she'd rather talk poverty than fashion or love life.   (AP Photo)
Meeting people who have one shirt, Portman says, has taught her to curb the accumulation mentality.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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I've always been suspicious of monarchy, with our culture of democracy, but their monarchs are better than our elected officials. They're doing so much good for their nation. - Natalie Portman,
on Jordan's Queen Rania

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