This Earth Day, Natalie Portman Wants People to Realize 'You Can’t Live in a Bubble'


For PEOPLE’s inaugural Planet Issue, 38-year-old actress Natalie Portman, who narrates Disneynature’s new Dolphin Reef documentary, spoke in her own words about her connection to the ocean and why conservation matters now more than ever. The world marks Earth Day on April 22.

I love dolphins. I learned to scuba dive in Eilat, Israel, on the Red Sea; it’s an incredible place for them. When I was in my early 20s, I started diving a lot and understood there was an entirely different universe—and devastation—I hadn’t been aware of. Some places are so colorful and vibrant, and some are really destroyed.

That’s why I was excited to narrate Dolphin Reef. There are so many moments in the film where you wonder if they used computer-generated images—it’s nice to be reminded how magnificent nature is. We only have one planet. You can’t live in a bubble where you think what you do doesn’t have an impact on any other creatures. We’re living that to the extreme now [during the coronavirus crisis]; we’re seeing how everyone’s actions affect us all.

My kids [son Aleph, 8, and daughter Amalia, 3] really love animals. Last year we went to Australia because my best friend got married there, so now we’re all pretty fascinated by the platypus. And my husband and I also like to plant a tree on each of their birthdays. I want anyone who watches this film to have a sense of wonder about the world. That awe and appreciation of beauty makes life sweeter, which also makes you care more about protecting the planet because you realize how magical it is.

  • Disneynature’s Dolphin Reef is streaming now on Disney+.

For PEOPLE’s 50 Things You Should Know and Do to Help the Planet, pick up the latest issue on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

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