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.
"I'm not speaking because I feel I should be heralded," Lane told "20/20's" Elizabeth Vargas in an exclusive interview. "I'm just speaking because they're completely lying about the amount of dancing that Natalie did in the movie."
In "Black Swan," Portman played a talented and tormented ballerina, whose searing descent into madness is mirrored by her incredible dancing on stage. But a recent controversy sprang up after Lane claimed to not only have danced in some of the movie's most unforgettable scenes that earned Portman a best actress Oscar, and that filmmakers asked her to refrain from talking about her role.
After she was interviewed by Glamour magazine for an article titled "The Real Black Swan," Lane, a soloist for the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, said one of the film's producers called and told her to keep quiet about the extent of her performance.
"He asked if I would please not do any more interviews until after the Oscars because it was bad for Natalie's image," Lane said. "They were trying to create this image, this facade, really, that Natalie had done something extraordinary. Something that is pretty much impossible ... to become a professional ballerina in a year and half. Even with as hard as she worked, it takes so much more. It takes twenty-two years, it takes thirty years to become a ballerina."
Jess Cagle, the managing editor for Entertainment Weekly, agreed, saying, "they diminished what Sarah did by telling Sarah to shut up and not talk and don't let anyone know."
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.
"Black Swan" editor Andy Weisblum agreed to take a closer look for "20/20." "There are about 35 shots that are full body shots in the movie. Of those 35 shots, 12 are Natalie, and then the rest are Sarah," Weisblum said. "But over the overall film, Natalie did a lot more than that. I mean, she did most of the other shots. It was sometimes hard for me to tell the difference as the editor, it was so close."
If I was skiing X-games I'd be wearing a thong too. - Ginko
I can't really speak my opinion because i don't know whats real and whats not, but it all sounds like what happens to most body doubles. I dont think this is the first time something like this has happend.
I've never heard of anything like this before. You don't hear Rambo's double coming out and saying that Rambo didn't actually do everything. They sign a contract and get paid a certain amount. They should keep their mouth shut.
If I was skiing X-games I'd be wearing a thong too. - Ginko
I don't really think Natalie Portman should be claiming dancing she didn't do.
Also, the body double shouldn't be making such a stink about this. She must have known when she signed the contract that she wouldn't be praised for her performance.
wow in that brief shot in the video mila kunis looked retardedly hot./
back on topic, props to that bitch for being like 'yo it was me dancing not her, dont steal my thunder' but at the same time, natalie still acted it out and won the oscar. maybe doubles should get a little more recognition when they have large roles like that, though. you know, put her high in the credits and list her alone as natalie's dancer, or some shit. fuck if i know. bitch just wanted to be noticed..
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Halfway through. So we know she used to tap dance. Not saying she did the majority of the dancing herself but with enough training she could have done a good chunk of it. The double is making money off of the attention whether or not what she claims is true.
Wow. Good luck ever finding another job as a stunt double. It's her job to pretend to be Natalie, and what exactly is she accomplishing with all this slander? All she's doing is badmouthing people for attention. Grow up.
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"hey dude, you're a cunt. thats just my opinion though. i feel like you could have used your time better or more productively or some shit learning how to not be a cunt, or be less of a cunt. but um, its just my opinion.
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Yes, but I am sure he also received hefty compensation for her role as stunt double, and otherwise could have easily done more film work had she not been so desperate for attention.
If I am to side with Aronofsky (which I am), what she is saying is indeed false. I feel that the director/editor would have a better idea of the shot number than some stunt double nobody gives a shit about.