Just in time for the DVD release of “Black Swan,” it appears that the only person left to weigh in on this whole “how-much-did-Natalie-Portman-actually-dance” situation is Portman herself.
Mila Kunis spoke with Entertainment Weekly regarding Sarah Lane‘s allegations against the Academy Award winning actress. Lane has vocalized her displeasure with the public misconception that Portman gained the skills necessary to become a professional dancer in just over a year, saying that “Of the full body shots, I would say 5% are Natalie.”
“Natalie danced her a** off,” Kunis says. “I think it’s unfortunate that this is coming out and taking attention away from [the praise] Natalie deserved and got.”
Kunis continues to say that Portman never tried to give the impression that she didn’t receive help.
“She’ll tell you [that], no, she was not on pointe when she did a fouett� [turn]. No one’s going to deny that. But she did do every ounce of every one of her dances,” Kunis explains. “[Lane] wasn’t used for everything. It was more like a safety net. If Nat wasn’t able to do something, you’d have a safety net. The same thing that I had — I had a double as a safety net. We all did. No one ever denied it.”
Seems like a fair point to us, though perhaps Lane did deserve at least a little bit of recognition during Portman’s whirlwind award season. A simple thanks could have done wonders.
How much of the actual dancing Portman did or didn’t do has been up for debate, with her fiance Benjamin Millepied saying, “Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie.” Director Darren Aronofsky went for a more technical evaluation, though.
“I had my editor count. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane,” he says. “If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie.”
Fans appear to have split opinions on Lane. For her one “5%” comment, she’s also praised Portman’s performance many times and says she only wants the profession of dancing to be taken more seriously.
Maybe she deserved more recognition, maybe she didn’t, but we don’t think there’s anyone who believes an actor would be able to transform to a professional dancer that quickly. That’s the magic of movies and unfortunately, falling into the shadows is the price one pays as a body double.