The cover, shot by Mario Testino and styled by Claire Richardson, finds Portman sporting an androgynous Rihanna-esque pompadour (favored by Mark Ronson and men's runway shows), dramatic smokey eyes and a James Dean-worthy white tee and jean jacket, both by Calvin Klein Jeans.
Inside, however, the Harvard-educated actress shows off her feminine side, clad in an of-the-moment bodysuit by Vilsbol de Arce, Bottega Veneta bandeau swim top, and swim brief and gold jewelry by Chanel.
This sultry image goes hand-in-hand with her upcoming role in the film "Black Swan," for which Portman did her first sex scene -- a lesbian one, at that. "It's not raunchy -- it's extreme," she tells V, before explaining why she held out so long to go nude and get intimate on-screen.
"Also, being a sexual object when you're a kid is really uncomfortable. After "The Professional" [a 1994 film in which Portman plays a precocious pre-adolescent], I was already getting creepy letters."
Yet, even though she's comfortable with her sexuality now, it seems that Portman isn't comfortable with her sex scene being played over and over again on the Web.
"I'm not opposed to sexuality or nudity in a film, but I'm very opposed to pornography sites," she explains. "And you're pretty much giving them material if you do any of that. It's always a big dilemma for me."
Another dilemma for the actress is getting back on track with her acting career after some critics panned her performances in the "Star Wars" trilogy.
"My acting was not exactly respected in those films," Portman tells V. "But those are the moments when you want to prove yourself again. When people think I suck, it helps."
So, what do you think about Portman's steamy V images and her upcoming sex scene? Leave a comment (above left)!
To see another A-List actress steam up the lens, check out this photo shoot.