Natalie Portman’s Body Double Trouble Disputed By Mila Kunis

March 29, 2011
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All it took was a brief statement by her dancing double to throw Natalie Portman’s Black Swan glory into doubt—but a growing number of those who worked on the film are jumping to her defense.

Natalie Portman

First a recap: after the wildly successful thriller swept audiences and earned Portman an Oscar, all seemed good with the world. Critics were aghast at her apparent ability to perform intricate ballet numbers, and she was showered with praise.

Then her ‘dancing double’ Sarah Lane made a few choice statements to the press, stirring up a pretty sizable controversy. Lane claims that she was told to stop speaking out about the details regarding how much of the dancing was done by Portman, and how much was done by herself. On top of that, Lane says that she was removed from the extra scenes featured on the DVD—all to help create a ‘façade.’

Rather than let his fiancé’s work be tarnished, Benjamin Millepeid (also the film’s choreographer) was the first to speak up, saying that Lane only did a few things in the studio, but that Portman is actually in about 85% of the shots.

Then came Darren Aronofsky, who this week gave an even more technical defense. He asserts that of the 139 dance shots in the film, all but 28 were done by the actress herself.

Even co-star Mila Kunis jumped in, calling the controversy “unfortunate,” and saying that she danced her “a** off.”

For me, there is no controversy. Everyone knows that when movies are shot involving professions or trades that require years of training and experience, they are almost always shot as a combination of the actor and the ‘real life,’ genuine article.

When Tom Cruise did Top Gun, was he expected to know how to fly an F-14 Tomcat?

Though some do their own stunt work, many actors are swapped out by more physically capable doubles. After all, were talking about the production of ‘fictional’ films, aren’t we?

So let’s move on from ‘body double gate,’ and let Natalie Portman bask in her glory. Sheesh.

Photos: M. Barraza

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8 Responses to “Natalie Portman’s Body Double Trouble Disputed By Mila Kunis”

  1. 1
    Jen Says:

    You are missing the point. Tom Cruise never jumped on top of a couch and screamed “I am an ace pilot of F-14’s”.

    The director and choreographer of Black Swan tried to cultivate the illusion that Natalie Portman suddenly became a prima ballerina. Seriously, the dialogue on this topic is so whack. You guys are attacking some dancer who trained her whole life because she called out Hollywood BS? This wouldn’t be an issue if DA and BM didn’t gush about Portman’s dancing genius. This is no different from Milli Vanilli, only difference is Portman is a media darling.

  2. 2
    RaL Says:

    Tom Cruise wasn’t really flying the F-14?

  3. 3
    steve Says:

    “That’s right, Ice…man. I am dangerous!”

  4. 4
    Mike Says:

    “Critics were aghast at her apparent ability to perform intricate ballet numbers…”

    “Aghast”? Really? Learn how to pick your adjectives, Jon…

  5. 5
    Jon Says:

    Mike – as always thanks for reading.. one alternate definition of aghast is “struck with sudden shock or amazement” which is perfectly fitting thanks. Granted my use of the word is atypical, but not at all incorrect.

    Ral – lmao

    Jen – good point.. but in my commentary I did not attack the dancer, but merely stated a few facts..others have been more harsh for sure.

  6. 6
    Jen Says:

    the dancer chick is just looking for her 15 minutes. this kind of stuff happens all the time in hollywood, stunt doubles, dancing doubles – just this girl wanted her 15 minutes and no one cared. boo hoo. next.

  7. 7
    iRikk Says:

    Aside from the recap of the situation, there is only a single sentence attributed to Mila Kunis. That somehow justifies a headline like: “Natalie Portman’s Body Double Trouble Disputed By Mila Kunis”? Get real people. Other than that, Natalie did a superb job in the film. Doubters and asshats can go fcku themselves.

  8. 8
    Stacy Says:

    Actors specialize in entertaining us… if Hollywood only picked people who could do the talents in the movies, they wouldn’t be as good. Who cares if there is a double! Natalie was awesome!