Filmmakers Insist Portman Did “Most of the Dancing” in “Black Swan”

Natalie Portman’s double called foul last Friday, saying that the Oscar-winning actress only did about “five percent” of dancing in “Black Swan.” Sarah Lane, who is a professional dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, said she was told to keep quiet about how much she contributed in dancing, Entertainment Weekly reports, so as not to hurt Portman’s chances at an Oscar.

Now, Fox Searchlight, the studio behind the cerebral drama, is striking back.

In a statement released Sunday, the studio said they were grateful for Lane’s handling of “more complicated dance sequences,” but still profess “Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the final film.”

Lane was inspired to speak out after an interview ran in the Los Angeles times, quoting choreographer (and Portman’s fiancée) Benjamin Millipied saying, “85 percent of that movie is Natalie.” She told Entertainment Weekly it was “demeaning” to say an actress, even one with a dancing background such as Portman, to master dance in such a short span of time.

“I’ve been doing this for 22 years…Can you become a concert pianist in a hear and a half, even if you’re a movie star?” Lane told Entertainment Weekly.  To add insult to injury, Lane was billed as only "stunt double" and "hand model."

Portman has yet to respond to these claims.

But it’s not all bad news. According to Business Wire, everyone’s already won. Portman has her Oscar, Lane has her 15 minutes of fame, and hey—if ABT did a performance of “Swan Lake” with Lane as Odette/Odile, there might even be a revival of classical ballet.

Selected Reading: EW, Vulture, Business Insider

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