Natalie Portman is the anti-Lohan.

She's made the most seamless, least bumpy transition from child star to adult star since Jodie Foster. Her life has been remarkably free of tabloid drama and embarrassing personal scandals, just as her career has been free of embarrassing projects (slasher films, teen sex farces, Disney TV series) that mark the résumés of other stars her age. Yet only now, with the Dec. 3 release of 'Black Swan' and its attendant Oscar buzz, does the 29-year-old Portman finally seem poised to begin the series of adult roles that seems to have been her destiny ever since she made her debut at 13.

Throughout her 16-year career, Portman has seemed like a grown-up in the body of a girl. She's always seemed more mature than her age and petite physique would suggest, yet she's hardly managed to play a grown-up with adult feelings and responsibilities. Even in 'Black Swan,' she plays a character who's having a hard time navigating the transition between girlhood and adulthood, a young woman whose breakthrough into grown-up sexuality threatens to be both her salvation and her undoing. Portman is the child star who was never a child, and the grown-up star who's still not a grown-up.