Update: Darren Aronofsky has responded to the controversy and verifies that at least 80% of the dance shots feature Natalie Portman untouched.
It looks like we’ve got some controversy over Black Swan. Natalie Portman’s double, Sarah Lane, has come out to claim that she is responsible for practically all the dancing audiences see in the movie. Lane is quoted as saying, “Of the full body shots, I would say 5 percent are Natalie.” The rest of the time, Portman’s face was supposedly grafted onto Lane’s body. Portman’s fiancee and choreographer on Black Swan, Benjamin Millepied, recently refuted any claims that Lane’s involvement was so large, saying that 85% of the dancing is Portman. Lane says that producer Ari Handel told her specifically not to talk to the press about her work on the film, even though there wasn’t any stipulation about that in her contract. Read more of Lane’s statements after the break.
“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,” says Lane. “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?”
Even though we’ve seen behind-the-scenes VFX footage of Portman’s head being placed on Lane’s body, is it possible that it could have been taken to this extent? The film’s small budget might make some people say no, but, then again, we’ve seen quite a bit done with little money in the past few years. Certainly Portman’s dancing was played up heavily during awards season and that helped lead to a plethora of statues. If these allegations are true, would they negate Portman’s overall performance? Why do you think Lane has waited until now to speak up on the issue? Sound off on the whole situation in the comments.