Just in time for today’s DVD release making none of this seem suspicious at all, Mila Kunis and director Darren Aronofsky have both come forward with statements to EW.com defending Natalie Portman from accusations made by her dancing double Sarah Lane who claims Natalie only did five percent of the dancing in the movie:
“Natalie danced her a– off,” says Kunis. “I think it’s unfortunate that this is coming out and taking attention away from [the praise] Natalie deserved and got.”
Kunis also says Portman has been honest about how much of the demanding footwork she was — and wasn’t — able to do. “She’ll tell you [that], no, she was not on pointe when she did a fouetté [turn]. No one’s going to deny that. But she did do every ounce of every one of her dances,” she says. “[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.”
“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.”
Sarah Lane’s central complaint was that producers allegedly told her to keep quiet about doubling 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.” Which is funny because in November, Natalie openly admitted to using a double proving a lesson I learned the hard way: Ballerinas are fucking batshit. True story, I shared an apartment with a gay ballet dancer years ago, and these kids are literally shipped off at 15 to become anorexic dancing machines through a systematic regimen of physical and psychological abuse. If I ever wanted to start an intricate network of pick-pockets, I’d simply walk down to the local ballet school and start recruiting with promises of trips to the mall like “those fat, normal kids.” (Fat, of course, meaning anyone over 55 lbs.)
Photos: Getty, WENN