Natalie Portman looked stunning in her dance sequences in “Black Swan,” giving a performance that won her an Oscar. But was it really her dancing? Her body double says no, charging that a cover up is underway.
Body double Sarah Lane, 27, an American Ballet Theatre soloist, charges in an explosive Entertainment Weekly interview that she performed 95 percent of the dance sequences in the film.
Portman’s head was merely digitally substituted for hers, she says.
Lane’s claims were first published by Dance magazine‘s Wendy Perron, who posted a video online that purportedly shows how Portman’s head was digitally imposed on Lane’s body.
Fox Searchlight, however, has ambushed the video with a copyright claim and it is no longer available on YouTube.
Lane’s statements closely follow claims by Portman’s fiancé and “Black Swan” choreographer Benjamin Millepied that the actress performed 85 percent of the dance sequences.
“There are articles now talking about her dance double that are making it sound like [Lane] did a lot of the work, but really, she just did the footwork, and the fouettés, and one diagonal [phrase] in the studio,” he said.
“Honestly, 85 percent of that movie is Natalie.”
If so, then Portman’s Oscar was well deserved. But if Lane’s accusations are true, then it raises a question whether Portman deserved her Academy Award.
Leading up to the awards show, much of the promotion campaign surrounding “Black Swan” focused on Portman’s claimed extensive training to be able to perform the ballet moves.
“The shots that are just her face with arms, those shots are definitely Natalie,” Lane says. “But that doesn’t show the actual dancing.”
Lane’s role in the movie was extensively played down. She gets no actual credit other than “Hand Model,” “Stunt Double,” and “Lady in the Lane,” a brief walk-on role, according to EW.
“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,” says Lane.
“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?
“I mean, from a professional dancer’s standpoint, she doesn’t look like a professional ballet dancer at all and she can’t dance in pointe shoes. And she can’t move her body; she’s very stiff,” Lane says.
Lane said she was upset and decided to go public because the film studio tried to cover up her role in the film.
For her part, Portman acknowledged during promotional interviews that a body double was used in the film .
“I do give her a lot of credit because in a year and a half she lost a lot of weight and she really tried to go method and get into a dancers head and really feel like a ballet dancer,” said Lane. “[Natalie] is an amazing actress, for sure.”
Who’s dancing? Check out the video below: