After Benjamin Millepied came to the defense of fiancé Natalie Portman last week, assuring the Los Angeles Times that despite using a dancing double, “85 percent” of the dancing in Black Swan was her own, 27-year-old ballet dancer Sarah Lane, is firing back. “Of the full body shots, I would say five percent are Natalie,” Lane, a soloist at American Ballet Theater, told Entertainment Weekly.

According to Lane, all the talk about Portman's dancing is part of a "cover-up" by the filmmakers to create the illusion that Portman truly became a ballerina for the film. “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 for the movie, basically because of the Oscar,” she said. Lane also explained that Black Swan producer Ari Handel asked her not to speak to the press about her work, despite there being no such stipulation in her contract.

Portman and costar Mila Kunis' physical transformations, achieved by what some call The Black Swan Diet, was a hot topic leading up to awards season, yet Lane believes it is not as remarkable as moviegoers might think. "I mean, from a professional dancer’s standpoint, [Portman] 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,” Lane said. “I do give her a lot of credit because in a year and a half she lost a lot of weight and she really tried to go method and get into a dancers head and really feel like a ballet dancer.”

Lane's revelation has led filmmakers to defend the integrity of their project. “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,” Fox Searchlight said in a statement. Even though she has stirred up trouble for members of the Black Swan team, Lane insists her comments are not out of ill will towards Portman. “[Portman] is an amazing actress, for sure,” she says. “I know that it’s not a personal thing against me. I know that it’s just a political thing," said Lane, who was disappointed to only be credited as "hand model," "stunt double" and "Lady in the lane." "It’s just unfortunate that I kind of lost credit." —EMILY EXTON


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