I wouldn’t have even commented on this story but since it seems to be making the rounds on Twitter, and a few of you have written in, I figure why not. Okay so apparently some are “upset” that the news has come to light that Natalie Portman only did about 5% of the dancing in Black Swan. I guess my question is, did anyone think she did more than that? To me it was obvious when there was a body double because she danced like an actual ballerina. I was surprised Portman did as well as she did do in the scenes where she had to dance. Only a fool would have substituted Portman’s abilities for that of a real dancer. She’s supposed to be the top ballerina in the dance company. Dancers start training when they’re like 4 or 5. They’re like gymnasts. Their muscles form around their bones and it alters their physique entirely.
Portman did really well considering she only had one year to train. She trained hard. She ate nothing. In some of the scenes, this is quite evident – her muscles DO show themselves throughout the film. But when she has to dance, I’m sorry, the movie would have been a total load if they’d used Portman for most of it. You can’t fake ballet. If you could train for a year and be that good surely it wouldn’t have the same prestige.
Fox Searchlight and Portman have both claimed she did most of the dancing featured in the film. But this careful phrasing. The film is mostly about closeups on her face, her shoulders — they freeze frame on a pose — she occasionally has to do a turn or something. But to me, it was obvious when it was her and when it was the double. That’s all I’m saying. I don’t think anyone is trying to say that she did the more complicated stuff – just that they chose to use the footage of Portman when given the choice. If she could do it, they used it, in other words.