Actress Natalie Portman, who graduated from Syosset High School in 1999, says math was one of her favorite subjects in school. Now she’s a guest editor of Scholastic Math, a magazine for students in grades 6-9 that’s available in classrooms and by subscription.
Guest Edited by Natalie Portman
Dear Cheat Sheet,
I sit next to the cutest guy in my algebra class. I’ve got a total crush on him 2-squared real. Then last week, the teacher asks me to factor a set of three trinomials in front of everyone, but I’d just gotten my period and didn’t want to go up in front of the whole class. I was so embarrassed.
You may not believe this, but I had a very similar experience when I was your age. I couldn’t have been more than 14, and was sitting in my trailer with my tutor on the set of Beautiful Girls, a movie in which I chastely seduce and beguile a man three times my age. I’d just finished wrapping up my feature-film debut, The Professional, an R-rated Luc Besson movie in which I play the chaste love interest of a murderer three times my age. Anyhow, I was already sexually active (from the age of 10), and my tutor asked me to add two numbers together. I put out my cigarette in my vodka gimlet and told him to go fuck himself. He suggested fucking something altogether different. Wink wink. I made half a million dollars for my performance in Beautiful Girls, which obviously couldn’t even pay my personal hair stylist nowadays, especially after my role as Princess Amidala in the Star Wars prequels, which earned more than $2,4 BILLION worldwide, if you want to talk about math. But those were leaner times, and I think you see how I can relate to you and math (hugs) and stuff. I am an important role model now.