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.
"People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy, and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I’m flesh and blood; I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol… as a symbol I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting."
—Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman from Batman Begins, 2005