De Grisogono Party - The 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Credit: Getty Images Europe

We've witnessed birthday girl Natalie Portman grow up before our eyes since she made her big-screen debut in The Professional at the age of 11. Since then she has appeared in a diverse array of films—from comedies like Your Highness to the blockbuster Star Wars films and her Oscar-winning portrayal of a ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan—and yet somehow also managed to graduate from Harvard University with a degree in psychology.

Recently, the mother to 4-year-old son Aleph went back to her alma mater to give a speech to the class of 2015. She encouraged the graduates to embrace their inexperience because it would help them have no fear and explained if she had thought more about taking on the role of a professional ballerina in Black Swan she may have never done it and then she would have missed out on so much.

"If I had known my own limitations, I never would have taken the risk, and the risk led to one of my greatest artistic and personal experiences," Portman said of the experience, during which she also met her husband, choreographer Benjamin Millepied.

Portman, who turns 34 today, continues to take risks in her career and recently stepped behind the camera to direct. Her film A Tale of Love and Darkness made its debut at Cannes in May. Congrats and happy birthday! Celebrate with a look at how she has transformed through the years.