When the Oscar winner was just 13 years-old she was sent on a talk show tour to promote her first feature film debut, 1994’s Léon: The Professional, where Portman played an orphan who befriends a hitman. During her promo tour, Portman decided to talk about things that typical 13 year-olds find interesting: her dog’s recent anal gland surgery, the school-wide stomach bug that caused her classmates to puke and her dad’s career, which she explained to Letterman had her teachers asking just exactly what he did for a living after she told them that he “helps women get pregnant” instead of saying he was a fertility specialist.
Needless to say, the precocious teen was a talk show guest success. Even Jon Stewart couldn’t control his laughter.
“She’s been through a lot in the last year,” Portman told Stewart about her dog who she brought to an appearance on The Jon Stewart Show. “She’s had a lot of operations. Just recently she had her anal glands removed.”
While the crowd was already giggling, Portman was just getting started. “They mark their territory. They let out this little smell –”
“You don’t have to explain it young lady,” interrupted Stewart.
Then on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Portman jumped right in to talking about her classmates vomiting. “We had an epidemic of stomach viruses and like 15 people got the stomach virus where they would throw-up every 10 minutes.”
Needless to say, Portman, who was recently the keynote speaker at Harvard College’s Class Day, has come a long way!