Darren Aronofsky has spoken up to address a controversy regarding Natalie Portman's dance shots in "Black Swan". After some contradicting claims from choreographer Benjamin Millepied and dance double Sarah Lane, the helmer has released a statement which is in favor of the Oscar-winning actress' camp.
"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," Aronofsky explains using math. He further says about the 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."
"The Wrestler" helmer goes on mentioning one particular part which Portman did on her own. "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," he states.
"I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor," Aronofsky says at the end of his statement. "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."
Beside Aronofsky, Portman's co-star Mila Kunis has also defended her. "Natalie danced her a** off," the Lily depicter tells Entertainment Weekly. "I think it's unfortunate that this is coming out and taking attention away from [the praise] Natalie deserved and got."
"... she did do every ounce of every one of her dances," Kunis adds. "[Lane] wasn't used for everything. It was more like a safety net. If Nat wasn't able to do something, you'd have a safety net. The same thing that I had - I had a double as a safety net. We all did. No one ever denied it."
Previously, Lane said, "Of the full body shots, I would say 5 percent are Natalie. All the other shots are me." The 27-year-old ballerina insisted, "The shots that are just her face with arms, those shots are definitely Natalie. But that doesn't show the actual dancing."
She released the claim after Millepied, who is also Portman's real-life fiance, said Lane's work in the film was far less significant. "There are articles now talking about her dance double [Sarah Lane] that are making it sound like [Lane] did a lot of the work, but really, she just did the footwork, and the fouettes, and one diagonal [phrase] in the studio," he told Los Angeles Times. "Honestly, 85 percent of that movie is Natalie."
Natalie Portman was highly praised for her portrayal of Nina Sayers in the drama thriller. She grabbed Golden Globe Award and Academy Award among other kudos for her performance.