Natalie Portman's Dance Double Gives Her First Interview


If you spent twenty-two years worth of blood, sweat, and tears enduring intense training to become a first-class ballerina, you might be a little irked to see a Hollywood starlet get all the credit. This morning, the woman who danced for Natalie Portman in Black Swan gave her first interview post-Oscar season to set the record straight.

Sarah Lane first spoke to Glamour Magazine in March, and was quoted as saying,

“They wanted to create this idea that Natalie was some kind of prodigy and worked so hard to make herself a ballerina in a year and a half, basically because of the Oscar. It is demeaning to the profession and not just to me.”

Since then, the ballerina has kept mum on the subject, telling Good Morning America that she received a call from a Black Swan producer after her interview came out. He asked her to hold off on any more interviews until after the Oscars were over “because it would be bad for Natalie’s image.”

Now that the Oscars have come and gone — with Portman collecting wins for Best Actress throughout awards season — Lane is ready to speak out once again. Her biggest issue with the idea that Natalie could learn how to do the same dance moves as someone who had studied ballet for her entire life. She said the movie was “trying to create this image, this facade really, that Natalie had done something extraordinary, something that’s pretty much impossible: to become a professional ballerina in a year and a half.”

What about director Darren Aronofsky’s claims that “by his count,” Natalie danced in 80% of the movie? Lane agrees that it is possible: “If you’re counting close-ups of her face dancing,” but “I don’t call close-ups of her face actual dancing.” Lane recreated the movie’s final dance scene for the GMA cameras, and referenced this clip of a Black Swan DVD extra that details the movie’s special effects. It essentially reveals Natalie’s face had been digitally slapped on Lane’s body for, at the very least, the movie’s final scene.

Lane isn’t mad that Natalie Portman won an Oscar for the role, saying Natalie “did an amazing job acting.” And she’s not mad about her lack of recognition in the film, despite the fact that she was credited in the movie only as “hand double,” “lady on the lane,” and as one of six stunt doubles. But Lane still wants to speak out: “I have so much respect for this art form and the people who are able to do it beautifully. I want to stand up for that.”

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