Sick Celebrities


Natalie Portman in Black Swan body double controversy


Just as the hype of the Oscars — which saw Natalie Portman pick up an award for her portrayal of a psychotic ballerina in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan — is finally settling down, professional dancer and body double Sarah Lane is turning it up a notch again by claiming that Natalie only performed in 5% of the full body scenes.

Sarah Lane, 27, is saying that she is the victime of a “cover up” and that viewers have been misled into thinking that Natalie transformed herself into a prima ballerina. While just a few days ago Benjamin Millipied, Black Swan choreographer and now also the star’s fiancee claimed that “85 percent of the movie is Natalie”, Lane  has something quite different to say: “Of the full body shots, I would say five per cent are Natalie. All the other shots are me.”

The American Ballet Theater soloist went on to say that for many fo the dance sequences, Natalie’s face was digitally placed on her body. “The shots that are just her face with arms, those shots are definitely Natalie”, Lane said. “But that doesn’t show the actual dancing.”

“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 or the movie, basically because of the Oscar.

“It is demeaning to the profession and just to me. I’ve been doing this for 22 years… Can you become a concert pianist in a year an a half, even if you’re a movie star?”

Lane, who received no mention in Natalie’s Oscar speech and is only named as an extra in the film’s credits, let out some more steam by saying, “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.”

But, let’s remember one thing. Natalie is not a professional dancer. She is an actress. And in interviews she has been very open about using a body double for major sequences. “I do have a double for the complicated turning stuff,” Natalie told EW last November. “It was not anything I ever could have done in a year, nothing I could’ve caught up with. But I think it was just better for all of us if I did as much as possible.”

The question remains, just how much was that? On the heels of Lane’s claims, the filmmakers released the following statement: “We were fortunate to have Sarah there to cover the more complicated dance sequences and we have nothing but praise for the hard work she did. However, Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the final film.”

Do you think Sarah Lane was unfairly sidelined, or as another author put it, the vicim of an unfortunate “blackout”?

Read here about Natalie Portmans’ award-winning portrayal of psychosis.

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