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Natalie Portman Is Happy to Be Back in L.A. After Living in France: ‘Everyone Smiles Here!’

It’s a party in the U.S.A.! Natalie Portman told Jimmy Kimmel that she is relieved to have moved back to Los Angeles — where people apparently tend to smile more — after living in Paris where, as she explains, people can be rather rude.

The A Tale of Love and Darkness director, 35, stopped by the late-night host’s talk show on Thursday, August 25, and revealed why she is ecstatic to be stateside again.

“Everyone smiles a lot here. It’s so nice. They’re more cool in France,” the actress told Kimmel, 48. “I didn’t realize I got used to it until I got here and I was so surprised!”

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The Star Wars alum packed up for Paris in 2014 with her French husband, Benjamin Millepied, after he was named the Paris Opera Ballet’s director of dance. The two first met on the set of 2010’s Black Swan, which he choreographed. After nearly two years of living in the City of Light, Portman moved back to her homeland with her hubby and their son, Aleph, who they welcomed in June 2011. Upon the family’s return, the mom of one noted that the friendliness she encountered was a bit shocking.

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied attend the 'A Tale of Love and Darkness' : Party during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2015 in Cannes, France.
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied attend the ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ party during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2015.

“Someone would smile at my child and I’d be, ‘What a good person,’” she joked. “People are really lovely here.”

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The Oscar winner (who was born in Israel, but moved to America in 1984 when she was about 3 years old) went on to express her indignation with the French’s obsession with etiquette.

“I feel there’s a lot of rules of politeness and codes of behavior there you have to follow. It’s a lot looser here,” she told Kimmel. “[In the U.S.] you care about making the person next to you comfortable because you want them to feel good.”

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman

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According to the No Strings Attached star, even shopping can be slightly irritating thanks to Paris’ dedication to social protocol.

“A friend of mine taught me that when you go in some place you have to say ‘bonjour’ before you say anything else, then you have to wait two seconds before you say something else,” she lamented. “So if you go into a store you can’t be like, ‘Do you have this in another size?’ or they’ll think you’re superrude and then they’ll be rude to you.”

Watch the video above.

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