According to Portman’s husband, Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied (who’s also the father of that baby she’s so into carrying around these days), “85% of that movie is Natalie.” It’s probably unwise to think a husband is an entirely unbiased source for information on his wife. If Millepied didn’t say nice things about her in public, Portman might high-kick him in the face when he got home. Of course, Portman’s body double Sarah Lane says she probably could not do that.
In a recent interview, Lane put the “Natalie Portman is actually dancing in this shot” ratio at 5%. Yikes. Lane does admit that all the close-up shots of Portman stiffly holding her hand up in the air while looking pensive were 100% Natalie. How kind. She goes on:
They wanted to create this idea in people’s minds that Natalie was some kind of prodigy or so gifted in dance and really worked so hard to make herself a ballerina in a year and a half for the movie, basically because of the Oscar…It is demeaning to the profession and not just to me. I’ve been doing this for 22 years…. Can you become a concert pianist in a year and a half, even if you’re a movie star?
Like Portman’s husband, I’m not entirely sure we can completely trust the word of a girl who wasn’t thanked in any Oscar speeches lately. However, a special effects demo reel did show full body dancing scenes where Portman’s head was painted onto Lane’s body. Could it be that Portman’s dancing prowess has been greatly exaggerated? Or are these the bitter words of an overlooked artist, upset that a lifetime of ballet doesn’t lead to parts in great movies like”No Strings Attached?”
I guess all that stuff in Darren Aronofsky’s movie about ballerinas being super competitive and kinda bitchy is true. Does that mean these girls often imagine themselves turning into birds, too? I hope so. That’d be awesome. (Entertainment Weekly)