‘Black Swan’ dancing debacle

Posted: April 3, 2011 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives, WATCH -- TV
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Sleeper hit and Oscar Best Picture nominee, Black Swan, is still ruffling feathers three months after its theatrical release. Squawking began after the leak of a Visual Effects Reel showing an impressive CGI head replacement on Swan actress, Natalie Portman. Fox has since pulled nearly all leaked versions (available here, for now) and uploaded an official version to its own YouTube channel (seen here). This official version leaves out the head-replacement scene in question.

Black Swan dancer and choreographer (and Portman’s fiancé), Benjamin Millepied, recently told the LA times, “Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie.” This set off a wave of backlash from Portman’s body double in the film, a 27 year-old American Ballet Theater soloist. Sarah Lane claims, “Of the full body shots, I would say 5 percent are Natalie.” Lane notes in a recent interview with EW that all of the shots of just her face and arms are indeed Natalie, but many of the full dancing shots are not.

Lane holds no grudges with Portman, calling her “an amazing actress, for sure,” but remains disappointed that Fox Searchlight only credited her six weeks of work as “Hand Model,” and “Stunt Double.” Lane goes on to note, “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?”

Black Swan director, Darren Aronofsky, and Fox Searchlight have since come forth to further defend Portman, crediting her with “most of the dancing featured in the final film.” Portman, recently awarded with the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film, does not hide the fact that a double was used. She has yet to make a peep on the recent controversy.

– Jake Hebert

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