Black Swan Body Double Controversy continues

How much dancing did Natalie Portman do in her Oscar-winning role in ‘Black Swan’? That’s the subject of a controversy that is cropping up again, a near month after the Oscars, between the filmmakers and the professional ballerina Sarah Lane (above). ABC News– 20/20 is slated to do a feature story tonight.

In her first television interview, Sarah Lane, the professional ballerina who was actress Natalie Portman’s dance double in “Black Swan,” accused filmmakers of lying about how much Lane danced in the film, and trying to cover it up.

Portman’s face was superimposed onto Lane’s body through special effects called “face replacement” in pivotal dance scenes to make it appear as if it were Portman executing technically sophisticated moves.

“Full body shots with actual dancing is me. That’s why they hired me,” Lane said.

In a written statement, “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky said, “Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film — 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. Twenty-eight are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math, that’s 80 percent Natalie Portman.”

“It’s possible if you’re counting the close-ups of her face as actual dancing shots. I don’t call close-ups of her face actual dancing,” Lane said.

It should be *stressed* that Lane IS NOT dismissing any of the dancing Portman actually did, nor her acting talents. Lane doesn’t really have a problem with Aronofsky either. But Lane is upset that after doing a few interviews before the Oscars last month, she was informed to ‘stop’ because, even if there is some truth in it (as Lane was a body double in some shots-that is not in dispute. It is only a question of how much) it would (or could) hurt Portman’s chances.
Below is a preview of the 20/20 segment. Watch it, make up your own mind. It is very interesting.

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  • Peatpete

    The reporting of this keeps on refering to the fact that Natalie Portman supposedly learnt the dancing for the movie in a year and a half. Little notice has been made of the fact that she infact started dance lessons at the age of 4, and has apparently continued them for most of her life since then, albeit at one would suppose a lower level of intensity than that required in preperation for the film.

  • Freddy

    regardless if she is talking about her acting performance or her dancing performance, she is still tarnishing her overall performance in the movie in they eyes of public. i’m basing that on what ive heard people say about this situation. i just saw your highness yesterday, i wonder if her stunt double is going to go on the news and say Natalie Portman didnt really slay a 5 headed dragon.

    • bernard

      or in the regards of “Your Highness” doesn’t actually shown her body in the skivvies swimming in the lake on chilling morning :P

  • I agree that she comes off a little bitter, trying to jump on the last coat tails of the Black Swan train to jump her career a little more. While I don’t doubt that it is true, it’s simply a fact of modern film that things like these happen and as the director said, 80% was Portman anyway and there is no doubt that either way she deserved that Oscar.