Benjamin Millepied Defends Natalie Portman's Dancing In 'Black Swan'
Despite winning an Academy Award, Natalie Portman (pictured) is not immune to criticism. The actress, 29, who underwent grueling training known as The Black Swan Diet, in preparation for her role as ballerina Nina Sayers in Darren Aronofsky's Oscar nominated-film, has been condemned for using a dancing double in the film. Now her fiancé, and Black Swan choreographer, Benjamin Millepied has come to her defense. “There are articles now talking about her dance double that are making it sound like [Sarah Lane, her body double] did a lot of the work, but really, she just did the footwork, and the fouettés, and one diagonal [phrase] in the studio. Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie," Millepied,33, told the Los Angeles Times. "It was so believable, it was fantastic, that beautiful movement quality.” Kimberly Prosa, a second dancing double, also insists the Oscar winner did do a majority of her own dancing in the film. "She definitely put her work in. Just in a couple of months, she looked credible—all the dancers on the set were really impressed at how well she pulled that off—it was pretty amazing,” she told the Huffington Post.
Working on such a dance intensive film gave Millepied the challenge of creating routines that Portman and her fellow actor Mila Kunis could execute well. “[I made] things fluid and not too complicated,” he said. "By getting more movement going, which in turn added to the camera movement—that is basically what I did. If we had kept things more classical, more restrained, less fluid, it would have been harder to trick the eye.” For now, Millepied and Portman are both taking a break from dancing. The couple is expecting their first child together later this year. —EMILY EXTON
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