Actress Natalie Portman’s husband has revealed his plans to convert to Judaism. Benjamin Millepied, French dancer and choreographer, is currently living with his wife in her native Israel. He told daily newspaper Yedioth Aharonot that he is already in the process of converting, after “falling in love with this country,” and that becoming Jewish is “very important” to him.
The happy couple and their baby Aleph, 2.5, will be staying in Israel until March while Natalie directs an adaptation of Amos Oz's novel A Tale of Love and Darkness, in her directorial debut.
The family usually reside in Paris, but Benjamin says Tel Aviv is his favourite city in Israel, although he may change his mind when the couple move to Jerusalem as part of the filming process. “It is the eternal dilemma between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” he said. “At this point, Tel Aviv because of the nightlife and architecture, but maybe I'll change my mind.”
Portman, 32, and Millepied, 36 married in an intimate Jewish ceremony in Big Sur, California, in 2012.
In 2013, it was announced that Millepied had accepted the position of director of the Paris Opera Ballet. The couple reportedly plan to relocate to Paris when Millepied's new job starts in fall 2014, and Portman has said she would like to become a French citizen when they do so. However, Millipied said in an interview that he feels very connected to Israel and could see the country becoming a second home. Portman has said she would like to raise her children Jewish.
“The real question,” writes Tablet magazine “is whether the couple’s next child will be named Bet.”