With an acting career ranging from LDS films to popular TV shows, Corbin Allred, who most recently starred in The Saratov Approach, has enjoyed plenty of success. We recently sat down with him to find out lessons he’s learned from his characters, why Natalie Portman called to wish him luck before his mission, and insights into why he now works primarily in the medical field.

Q: Which role has been your favorite?

A: Honestly, I would say the opportunity I had to work with Ryan Little on the Saints and Soldiers films—those were some of my favorite experiences in my career. It could be because I’m a pretty patriotic person; I have family that has served in the military. My grandfather served in WWII, then the Korean War. To do projects that pay homage to those who have sacrificed so much for us was really just a privilege.

Q: Which Hollywood star has been your favorite to work with?

A: I worked with so many wonderful people that I’d say one of the most gracious actors I’ve ever worked with was William Petersen who played on CSI, the original CSI, he was the main character.

An actress I worked with was Natalie Portman. I did a film called Anywhere but Here with her. I played her boyfriend in the film and she was just so, so kind and humble. She’s one of the most intelligent people that I’ve worked with. She’s very educated and smart about film, but also about general things.

When we were working on that film, I had told her that I was a Latter-day Saint and we visited just a little bit about religion. I told her that a mission was something that I was going to do and she told me to let her know if I was going on a mission and where I was going. And so, several months later after filming that film, I got my mission call and I shot her a message that I had received the call and where I was going. The night before I went into the MTC, she called to wish me luck. You know, this is somebody I had worked with months before on a film. She didn’t have to do that. She was very, very interested in what I was doing and cared enough to call me—to take time out of her busy schedule and her day to call me and wish me success on my mission. She knew just from our conversation that it was very important to me, so I thought that was very classy of her and very kind and gracious.