The 2017 Oscars was, without a doubt, one of the most exciting in recent history – and a lot of that was due to the fact that La La Land was mistakenly awarded Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards. Halfway through their acceptance speech, the cast and crew were cut off and informed that Moonlight was the true winner. And, as the camera panned across the star-studded audience, we watched as Hollywood stars collectively winced (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Meryl Streep’s shocked facial expressions have since gone viral).
But, despite being nominated for her stellar turn in Jackie, Natalie Portman was not amongst them; the star was recuperating at home after giving birth to a baby girl just four days earlier.
At the time, she told E! News: “I feel so lucky to be honoured among my fellow nominees and wish them the most beautiful of weekends.”
Read more: 70 baby names inspired by feminist icons
Speaking to CNN, a rep for Portman confirmed that she and her husband, Benjamin Millepied, had welcomed their second child together (they already share five-year-old son, Aleph) on 22 February.
“Mother and baby are happy and healthy,” they said.
The rep also revealed that Portman and Millepied had selected a unique name for their little girl: Amalia.
The name Amalia has many meanings, according to SheKnows.com, although the most popular interpretation is a powerful one: “industrious and striving defender”.
It is also a popular variation of the name Amelia – which is, coincidentally, one of the top 10 baby names for 2017, according to BabyCenter.com.
Portman has kept a relatively low profile during her pregnancy, although she has made a point of addressing a number of important feminist topics.
Earlier this year, she explained that her recent distance from Hollywood was a conscious decision, due to the fact that there “are not great female roles” anymore.
Speaking to Vulture, Portman said that her research for her role as former FLOTUS Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie left her feeling nostalgic for an earlier era. An era which, while undoubtedly difficult for women, at least gave them visibility on screen with strong female leads.
Films from the fifties and sixties “have such strong female roles all the time,” she explained, mentioning Sunset Boulevard as a prime example. “Even if they’ll make the occasional sexist comment, they still have a central woman character who has a personality.
“Now I feel like movies are all about white men and then you get a couple that happen to be about women.”
In a separate interview with Marie Claire, the 35-year-old also addressed the ongoing issue of the gender pay gap, pointing out that Ashton Kutcher, her co-star in 2011 rom-com No Strings Attached, was paid considerably more than her.
“Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as me on No Strings Attached,” she told the magazine. “I knew and I went along with it because there’s this thing with ‘quotes’ in Hollywood.
“His [quote] was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.”
Portman finished by saying: “Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”
Even when discussing her pregnancy, Portman has made a point of highlighting issues faced by many women in her situation.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last year, she explained that she was tired of people trying to guess her due date – and pointed out that not only is it a deeply personal topic of conversation, but it can often be incredibly insulting to comment on the size of a woman’s bump.
“It's weird because I'm a small person in general, so you show a lot faster and a lot more when you're small,” she said.
“Everyone thinks I'm about to pop and about to give birth any minute, and I have months to go...I went to the store the other day to buy water and the guy at the checkout counter was like, ‘Almost, huh?’ I was like, ‘No! Not at all!’”
Images: Rex Pictures