(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)Natalie Portman believes in giving back, and the actress who swept the 2011 awards scene returned as a presenter for the 2012 Golden Globes' best actor in a drama.
A relatively restrained Ricky Gervais called out her new maternal role in his introductions: "This year, she took some time out to have a baby. Consequently, she's been nominated for nothing. Really pathetic. But she's learned that valuable lesson that all you already new: Never put family first."
Naturally, the petite Portman glided onstage in a strapless fuchsia Lanvin dress with a red accent, back in form.
The Golden Globes should be a sentimental occasion for Portman: That's where she and fiance Benjamin Millepied made their first red-carpet stroll as an engaged couple. The then-pregnant starlet also made new, albeit petite strides in maternity couture, thanks to a Viktor and Rolf gown adorned with a single but elaborate rose made of red Swarovski crystals.
Hitting 30 has been good for Portman, who has shepherded a seamless status change from child actress to America's pocket-size sweetheart to celeb mom. In 2011, she cleared a place on her mantelpiece for all her "Black Swan" accolades, starting with a statuette from the Globes and then from the Oscars, SAG, and even the Spike Scream Awards. She also received recognition as Most Rented Actress (Redbox), made PETA's U.S. postage PhotoStamps of famous vegetarians, and squeezed in between Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba for the No. 2 slot for Mayo Clinic/American Baby's Celeb Mom Role Model. With all that adulation, Portman couldn't pick a better year to push out "No Strings Attached" and "Your Highness."
Offscreen for most of 2012
Enjoy your glimpses of the once-again-svelte Portman, because the new mom will be offscreen for most of 2012. Reportedly determined to spend time with baby Aleph, she has been confirmed for "Thor 2," and only because she signed a contract: According to the Hollywood Reporter, even that deal became touch-and-go after Marvel executives booted director Patty Jenkins ("Monster"), who would have been the first female director to helm a superhero film. (Alan Taylor, who directed episodes of HBO's "Game of Thrones,'" will helm the blockbuster, due out November 2013.)
Portman won't be entirely missing from the creative scene. She'll be presenting at the SAG Awards later this month, is the face of Diorskin, and will continue as the FINCA ambassador helping women in developing countries get microcredit. Doubtless she'll be a supporter for her fiance's new endeavor, L.A. Dance Project. If we're all really lucky, Portman might pull a Sandra Bullock and make the Razzies cut. Again.
You can also relive the role that got her that Razzie nomination on February 10, when "Star Wars: Episode I" comes out in 3D. Yes, for every Jar Jar Binks moment, there will be Darth Maul and Queen Amidala.