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Aronofsky Ends Portman Dance Argument!

| Filed under: Film FlickersNatalie PortmanMila Kunis

Aronofsky Ends Argument

First, let's recap a bit.

There were rumors that Natalie Portman barely did any dancing for Black Swan. Her beau and trainer then stepped in and supported her with an 85% pro-Natalie claim.

Next, Natalie's dance double rocks the boat with a bold statement that Portman only performed 5% of the dancing seen, and says she was told to keep quiet about it.

After that, producers of the film came out and supported the pro-Natalie movement. Mila even flexed her reinforcement.

Now, after all of this, the director Darren Aronofsky himself lays down the knowledge with very specific statistics of what actually is going on behind the dancing in Black Swan.

Here's it is, in full, so there is no confusion any more:

“Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. 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 Portman.

And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic. I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is.”

That seem inarguable to us. For that to be incorrect, Darren would have to be blatantly lying to us. We're inclined to believe him over anyone else, here.

So, Sarah Lane, what's the deal? Is it jealousy after all?

We're all sure you're a wonderful dancer, and you're in one of the best movies last year . That's something to be proud of; no need to rain on Natalie's parade!

[Image via WENN.]

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60 comments to “Aronofsky Ends Portman Dance Argument!”

  1. 1

    She was amazing in that film .. anyone saying otherwise is a jealous hater.

  2. 2

    Made up controversy to sell and rent DVD's.

  3. 3

    All this Sarah Lane person is doing is destroying her OWN reputation. Who is going to want to hire this bitch after this? She looks like a petty attention seeking dancer who wants the wrong kind of attention.

  4. 4

    Sounds like Sarah Lane was wanting credit for Natalie's hard work. Not cool.

  5. 5

    Like Hollywood would never lie……hahaahhaahha

    she didn't dance as much as they are professing..

    thou protest to much because one is trying to cover up their lies….

  6. 6

    For there to be 139 dance shots in that movie, they're pretty much counting every time she stretches an arm… in which case, I'm sure Natalie did do 111 of them. However, as a dancer of 26 years, I can think of maybe 5 or so REAL DANCING sequences in the movie, and I have no doubt that Sarah Lane did all of them.

  7. 7

    Day 1: "Natalie hardly didn't dance" Day 2: "No, no, whe did 85% of the dance routines" Day 3: This site is Black Swan all over, the DVD is now available, so go see for yourself…..Wow, lame marketing

  8. 8

    This double has probably danced her last part. She should have kept her friggin' mouth shut, regardless of the truth. I'd never hire her, that's for sure, if her pride was more important than her career/professionalism.

  9. 9


  10. 10

    Sarah Lane's legs are huge, we can very clearly see when they're hers. NEXT

  11. 11

    who cares… Natalie is a brilliant actress, sarah is a jealous nobody. The end.
    Oh and I think Sarah misunderstood her role as a 'double' of course she's not going to get all the credit. she was hired to aide the illusion that it was natalie dancing!!!

  12. 12

    Even if Natalie only did 5% of the dancing, this woman shouldn't have been a media whore and blabbed to the press. She's only ruining her own career.

  13. 13

    Yes, he definitely wouldn't want to tell the truth and piss off the new Oscar winner would he? There wouldn't be any reason to do that now, would there be?

  14. Jdcaf says – reply to this


    I think most of the dancing was done by Sarah Lane! It's not easy dancing on pointe! Until any of you know what it's like to put in hours upon hours of dance training…don't judge! It takes well over a year to become an amazing dancer…….esp on pointe!!! I think Natalie did a great job but there's no way she could have done all that it under a year!

  15. Jdcaf says – reply to this


    Re: applejuice12 – Her legs are muscular, not huge! Just pointing out the difference!

  16. sanaa says – reply to this


    I refuse to watch this trashy movie.

  17. 17

    I do not think Sarah is being jealous. She is tired of watching someone take credit for something that she has studied for 20 years to become- a true Prima Ballerina.
    For Natalie to say that a PROFESSIONAL dancer did most of the dancing, would that hurt her?? Or her career??? No. It is the producers trying to cover their asses and justify why Natalie got the Oscar.
    I think the producers were being disrespectful to dancers who have been critical of the movie from a dancers point-of-view.

  18. 18

    I have always loved Natalie Portman's work. She was flawless in Black Swan! It was obvious to me that they would use a double for difficult shots. I would still praise,love Natalie's performance whether she danced all, some or none of the dancing sequences!

  19. 19

    Hollyweird is so fake. They aren't real people. They have no idea what it's like to really have to work for almost nothing. Nothing but a bunch of whiny ass cry babies. They ALL suck!!! Makes me sick.

  20. 20

    Actors/studios may think twice before hiring Sarah Lane to do anything in movies at this point? Can you imagine stunt-people complaining they did more acting/more screen-time than actors in films? I guess that's basically what Sarah is doing, and she's burning bridges/her future in projects when she does. . .

  21. 21

    Okay you might be right perez, but do you seriously believe the director is not going to support natalie over a dance double? I mean come on, you are really naive. I believe the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

  22. 22

    Re: stefystef – Agreed.

  23. 23

    Re: stefystef – She doesn't need to lie about dancing to justify getting an Oscar. An Oscar is given to someone for their ACTING skills. She could've said from the beginning that she didn't do an ounce of dancing for the movie and she still would've received the Oscar if her acting was as supposedly great as everyone says. I agree that Lane deserves to get full credit for the amount of dancing that she did though.

  24. 24

    Re: stefystef

    Fuck her. She shouldn't have signed on to be the dance double.

  25. 25

    this sarah chick is the equivalent of stunt double — they get paid to do what they do on the set — you don't hear of stunt doubles coming out later for a brighter 15 minutes to point out what they did vs. what the actor did — i don't recall the spiderman stunt double pointing out what he did vs. what tobey did — if her check didn't bounce, sarah needs to move on to her next job

    and natalie portman won the oscar for her acting — not a dance contest

  26. 26

    His comment doesn't change ANYTHING. For what Aronofsky said to be true, he's counting every single time Natalie is shown wearing a leotard as a dance shot. The original FX short clearly show that Nat didn't dance even some of the very simple passes and that they replaced her head on another dancer's body. The studio has since changed that short and conveniently took out all the head replacement bits that clearly show Natalie did VERY LITTLE actual dancing. The only thing Nat really did was flap her arms. WHY would the studio re-cut that short and take out all the parts showing Nat wasn't dancing? The double is telling the truth.

  27. 27

    'i don't recall the spiderman stunt double pointing out what he did vs. what tobey did'

    The difference is, no actor has come out claiming they did all these amazing stunts–that is the problem here…the film makers have made the absurd claim that Nat did the vast majority of the dancing and that is flat out lie. Same with the Oscar comments that she didn't win for dancing, she won for acting. Well, no shit! The issue is they have continually LIED about it, why? Hell, I don't even care why-the fact is that they have lied and lied and lied-including editing out parts in their own FX piece. LIARS.

  28. 28

    This Sara Lane chick is never going to work in Hollywood again. What is she doing? Lol woman shut up. You were there to be a body double not to get recognition for your work. Its what body doubles are for. You're hired to do what the actress can't, take your pay check and move on. The most you can expect to get is another notch on your resume, another job in the furture and recognition in the dance community. Talking shit about the actress after the fact only serves to severely damage your career and your reputation. Even if Sarah IF telling the truth, no one will hire her again. I know if I were making a movie I wouldn't. Wouldn't want her discrediting my stuff. =/ At the end of the day Natalie still comes out on top.

  29. 29

    Re: stefystef – She shouldn't have signed on to be a BODY DOUBLE. =/ She should have tried to star in her own ballerina movie then she could have all the credit. When you're signing on to be someone's double its about discretion not about credit. I wish her luck finding another job like that.

  30. 30

    I think a simple little thank you to Sarah Lane during one of Natalie's many acceptance speech's would have gone a long way. I have seen many successful actors acknowledge the work of support teams especially when they have played an integral and vital role to the success of the lead character. I believe they call that class.

  31. 31

    Re: Shelah – Good point.

  32. 32

    Aronofsky needs to adjust his statement. He says of 139 shots, 111 were Natalie; 28 Sarah.
    What about second dance double Kimberly Prosa? According to that math Kimberley did 0 shots. That would contradict this statement from Kimberly Prosa:
    Says Prosa: “Natalie took class, she studied for several months, from the waist up is her. Sarah Lane a soloist at ABT, did the heavy tricks, she did the fouéttes, but they only had her for a limited time, a couple of weeks, so I did the rest of whatever dance shots they needed.”

  33. 33

    Confusing what is REAL dancing (FULL-BODY ART FORM.) and what is dance-ish (upper body moving the hands around like most kids do).. It was altered by the director to look good on film and he did a good job with it but.. that doesn't change the nature of WHAT REAL DANCE IS..So yes, SARAH did dance 90% percent of the footwork and full body shots, and natalie danced 85% of the TOTAL upper body!! It was altered by the director to look good on film and he did a good job with it but.. that doesn't change the nature of WHAT REAL DANCE IS Once again the directors statements are DISCREDITING Sarah's role.

  34. 34

    Watch the DVD extras and get back to us, mkay? Watch how they morphed Lane into Portman.
    Note Darren only talks about #of shots, NOT screen time, or which scenes.
    I agree; Portman should share her Oscar.

  35. 35

    I seem to remember Perez posting a clip before the Oscars of how the Black Swan special effects were made. It was a long one showing how Sarah Lane's face was swapped out of the final dance sequence (the one where she's slowly turning into a swan) for Natalie Portman's. Now that this controversy has come up, the clip has been shortened from 7-8 minutes to 4. And now he's all "watch me turn into the Black Swan!!1!". Coincidence?

  36. 36

    i don'Re: Jen120 – nah, they don't really need any help in that area. this movie is amazing and made a ton of money in theatres, i'm sure they won't struggle with dvd sales.

    that being said, i don't really think this girl is necessarily jealous. i think it's more along the lines of no one knows who she is because people don't bother to find out who doubles are for this sort of situation, so she decided to embellish the truth a bit (ok, a lot) to get her name out there. not an uncommon act in hollywood.

  37. 37

    Bravo to Darren Aronofsky for standing up to the bad-mouthing dancer and not letting this slide. Natalie Portman does not deserve this and no one who worked on the film needs their excellent work overshadowed by this woman's sour grapes. Times up Sarah, go away now — you have ruined any chance to have the respect of the public. Discretion does count for something, even by today's standards.

  38. 38

    OMG Perez don't be so naive! Yeah, like Directors NEVER lie to us or the press, right?!!

  39. 39

    Re: gbearc – Let it go — no one cares about Sarah Lane.

  40. 40

    all this elementary mathematics bruhaha is to sell the dvd of the film….

  41. 41

    Firstly, all who have come forward pro-Natalie have a collective invested interest in ensuring the success of the movie in theaters and in DVD/download sales. Why would they say anything else?

    Secondly, it's interesting that this rumor began to circulate after everyone's forgotten about the movie and right before the release of the DVD.

    Thirdly, since when is anyone in Hollywood's word solid?

  42. 42

    Let's also not forget that Perez got paid to promote the DVD. He's as much of a lacky as the rest of them.

  43. 43

    They are going to have one butt-ugly kid.

  44. 44

    Re: Jdcaf – Except, Natalie didn't necessarily learn all that in under a year. She was in local dance tropes and took dance lessons from four years of age until she won her role in the Professional at age 12-13. That means she has a background in dance. A background in dance (especially at a young age) would certainly help her train better.

  45. 45

    Any dancer watching the movie knows that the majority of the shots looked like average dancing…that is, good dancing for an actress, but not so much for a dancer. Why in the world would a professional dancer want to own up to that work?

    Sarah Lane's work was amazing, but there was too much mediocre ballet for her to want credit for.

  46. 46

    "So, Sarah Lane, what's the deal? Is it jealousy after all?" No dickwad, THE DVD CAME OUT TODAY - it's for publicity ONLY, set up by the studio.

  47. 47

    I agree as a professional ballet dancer - I can tell you here and now Natalie did NOT dance most of those scenes!

  48. 48

    Bad press. I'm every day less interested in seeing the movie.

  49. 49

    Even if it was true, Sarah Lane needs to shut up. This is show business…..smoke and mirrors…..she was hired as a double, so she should shut up and double.

  50. 50

    Diehard Sarah Lane supporters really need to give it a rest. All she did was make herself look goofy and untrustworthy.

    How she is credited as a body double is NOT Natalie's problem. She should have taken care of that before she signed the contract.

  51. 51

    I don’t get it Why is it so hard to say. THANK YOU for professional and beautiful dance because of the movie is better. It wouldn’t have any issue because Natalie played her role awesome, she’s great actress which she prove many times in her films.. But the move makers must also make Natalie next real ballerina saying she’d learnt something which another dancers takes years and years of hard work. Ballerina’s dance include whole body part, not just upper body - waving head and arms.. In the movie dance has some part – beautiful part ;-) Give credit to dancer – she deserves it. She's also an artist!!!! (according to wikipedia she won many competitions, and perform in national theater). She should get some recognition and respect.

  52. 52

    yeah, let's see natalie en pointe! seriously doubt she can do that

  53. 53

    OF COURSE he's going to defend his move, and his actor. Because he's not only defending her, he is defending HIMSELF. Because it makes it seem like he lied, and just used CGI, while he was hyping up his main actor.

    He's not going to say, Ooops you caught me. Yea I used CGI. You know what speaks the truth. The fact that they hid Sarah Lane, the fact that she wasn't allowed to give interviews until after the Oscars, that she wasn't credited as a double, but as a hand model, or lady in the lane, the fact that the CGI video showing face replacement was cut out from the video. Those are the things that speak the truth, actions, not words. Because even if Sarah Lane danced only 5% percent, the fact that they tried to keep her hidden showed that they worried Natalie wouldn't get her Oscar if the Acadamy found out about her double.

  54. 54

    Re: Skate 08 – one of these sequences you mention can be broken down into many movements. But forget about this, go for the DURATION, which he verified shows Natalie at 90%, which is even more. This is a very clear and simple criteria, out of all the onscreen time of any dancing, Natalie was there 90%.

  55. 55

    Re: the real stinkweed – If it wasn't true he'd have kept his mouth shut.

  56. 56

    SO unprofessional for the dance double to bring all this drama. She is the dance DOUBLE, NOT the lead actress in the film. And Natalie brought the ballerina character to life. Like all actors when doing a film, they have to do some research and practice for the role they're doing so I'm sure Natalie did some of the dancing herself.

    She just wants her 15 mins of fame.

  57. 57

    I don't care if she didn't dance at all. Her acting was the shit. She didn't get all of these awards for her dancing skills. Get over it.

  58. BBKay says – reply to this


    They should mention her at the end of the film as DOUBLE DANCER, and everything would be fine, but they didn’t, the question is why? Maybe there was some benefit because of it. She's not some person waiting at street in movie or double in action movie jumping on roof. – besides even stunts are mention as stunts not some HAND MODEL – where people don’t even know what exactly that person did. The Dance was important for leader character, it trigger her psychosis. It seems that Portman dance scenes are without showing her lower body like waving her arms around in port de bras etc., not counting scenes where Nat is just standing around in dance attire -that's not dancing.
    Natalie Portman is fantastic actress, she deserved for all her awards becouse it was for ACTING! and the DANCER did the great job in FULL BODY DANCE, credit for Sarah !End of story ! Everyone is happy now. ;-)

  59. 59

    Re: sanaa – If you haven't seen it how do know it's trashy?

  60. 60

    She won't find job again.