Did Oscar Winner Natalie Portman do Only 5% of the Dancing in Black Swan?

Strange is the world!

People haven’t stopped raving about Natalie Portman’s brilliant performance in Black Swan, a feat that ultimately won her the coveted Oscar for Best Actress.

Now come claims that Natalie did only 5% of the on-screen dancing.

And that claim comes from none other than Sarah Lane, a real-life ballet dancer who was Natalie’s dance double in Black Swan.

If Sarah Lane is speaking the truth, then does Natalie Portman really deserve the Oscar?

After all, what’s Black Swan without the dancing, eh.

We knew there must have been a good reason why we didn’t watch Black Swan. 😉

Or is this contretemps just another tawdry Hollywood tactic to push sales of the Black Swan DVD, which comes out on Tuesday, March 29. As we said at the outset, strange is the world.

Oftentimes, what is, isn’t and what isn’t, is!

Here’s an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal interview with Sarah Lane:

The Wall Street Journal: What exactly was your role in “Black Swan”?

Sarah Lane: Well basically I did all of the dancing. Natalie and I alternated shots. They would do close-up shots with her, just of her face and kind of from her arms up. Then they would do the same shot with me, and then they would do a full body shot from far away, or a close-up of my feet, etc. And then there were a few shots they did that were closer full body shots—and then they digitally put her face on my body.

Related Stories:
Natalie Portman’s ‘Black Swan’ Dance Double Says She Deserves More Credit

13 Responses to "Did Oscar Winner Natalie Portman do Only 5% of the Dancing in Black Swan?"

  1. Naveen   March 27, 2011 at 1:38 am

    SI – Have you seen “Flawless”? * Demi Moore and Michael Caine. A simple heist movie. Not great but not bad either. I saw it for Alfred i mean Michael Caine 🙂

    It is available live on Netflix.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    No, we’ll try to watch it tonight today.

    Just added it to Netflix Instant Play queue.

    We love Michael Caine and of course, we’ ll never say No to Demi Moore. 😉

    Last month, we watched Woman Times Seven (Netflix, again), a seven-episode movie in which Michael Caine features in one.

  2. shadowfax_arbit   March 27, 2011 at 3:16 am

    I didn’t like this movie that much. Very predictable and she had constipated look throughout. The lesbian scene was good though 😉

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: I didn’t like this movie that much.

    Alas, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not share your sentiments.

    • முனிAndy   March 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

      I have seen the 1080p lesbo scene using my “highlights” source (if I post the link here, SI may exterminate me).

      I didn’t expect to like it – because I don’t like Natalie much, but turned out to be super. That may have been one of the main influencers in getting her the award. 😉

      Hopefully, there won’t be another body double claiming that she did 95% of Natalie’s lesbo scene.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Liked your last line. 😉

  3. logu   March 27, 2011 at 4:53 am

    omg engum fraud edhilum fraud? ulagil nallavangale ilaya?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Illai (No). 🙁

  4. abhi220   March 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    As you said, I think this is a tactic.

    Sources say that she is been taking dance classes since the age of 4.


    I don’t think she got the oscar just because of her dance performances in the movie.

    She was really good, but I wasn’t too impressed with the movie apart from the last 10 mins or so.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Even if Natalie were taking dance lessons since the age of four, ballet demands far more, and likely full-time, dedication to the art form than she’s been able to give it given her rival pursuits of acting and studies (Harvard).

    • abhi220   March 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      That is true. All I was trying to say was she could have done more than 5%.

      Agree with boopalanj, Vendetta is a very nice movie and the dialogues are really good. Hugo weaving’s voice is marvelous too.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      We’ll definitely try to get V for Vendetta this coming week.

  5. boopalanj   March 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having.”, “There are no coincidences, Delia. Only the illusion of coincidences!”

    Just finished watching the film – “V for Vendetta” !!! Liked it much. Please add it to your review list!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Will do. Will try to watch in a few days.

    • boopalanj   March 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      Wonder why I made this comment here? At least this had a relevance to this post, since Natalie Portman starred in ‘V for Vendetta’ ! By coincidence, I just watched this film and came to SI to say about her only to see you making a post about her! [Is it an illusion of coincidence too?!?]

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Some coincidences in life are too eerie. It’s happened to us on a few occasions. As someone once said, the world is stranger than we can imagine.

    • boopalanj   March 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      May be, I liked this movie because it is time people rebel against oppression by totalitarian governments in quite a few countries, and may be, because we just need one.

      The protagonist known as “V” is a mask-wearing vigilante and a freedom fighter who tries to overthrow the fascist high chancellor Sutler (derived from “hitler”?) by an attempt to blow up the parliament.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      1. Just added V for Vendetta to Netflix queue. Unfortunately, they don’t have it in their Instant Play section. So, we’ll have to wait for the DVD.

      2. If any country needs a revolution, it’s certainly India.

      In the pre-Independence era, some 70,000 or so Britons (60,000 soldiers and maybe another 10,000 civilians) were continuously looting India. Today, a similar number of politicians and their criminal henchmen, corporate cronies and corrupt babus are looting India. To believe that the beneficiaries of power will voluntarily relinquish their privileges is to engage in wishful thinking. Look at the allotment of Congress seats in Tamil Nadu. It is a travesty. Power shifts flow best from the barrel of a gun. It’s a shame that the Naxalite movement petered out in Tamil Nadu after some stirrings in the late 1970s and 1980s.

      • boopalanj   March 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

        There is a dialogue in the movie Gladiator – “Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate, it’s the sand of the Colosseum.”

        India is one such big MOB. There comes a cricket match between India-Pak and people forget all corruptions, short-comings of the government.

        Look at this for example: Punjab MLAs seek passes to India-Pak semi-finals at Mohali and passed a resolution at the assembly. [http://www.newkerala.com/news/world/fullnews-176554.html]

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        True, true, true.

        It’s an age-old trick for the powers that be to use trivial distractions to divert the masses from the real, substantive issues.

  6. kd36939   March 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    From the Director – http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/03/28/darren-aronofsky-black-swan-controversy/ Looks like 75% of the dancing is done by Natalie herself.

    Sara Lane’s claim may be true. 5% is a ridiculously low number. From the looks of the movie, it didn’t seem to have a morphed face. If that’s true, then the editor / graphic guy should be applauded.

    Mickey Rourke won many Best Actor awards for the movie Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky’s movie) There were scenes where they staple his body, beat him to death with a chair, super kick him and what not. Am sure those scenes must be done by a dupe. Will the dupe claim that he needs to have a share of the award?

    Fake or real – either case, I enjoyed the movie and plan to get a DVD copy of it.

    Will you be watching it tomorrow? Netflix will have them only after 28 days.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Not buying it. Plan to wait for Netflix or RedBox.

    2. You write: Mickey Rourke won many Best Actor awards for the movie Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky’s movie) There were scenes where they staple his body, beat him to death with a chair, super kick him and what not. Am sure those scenes must be done by a dupe. Will the dupe claim that he needs to have a share of the award?

    Fair point.

    Just that we’ve gotten used to the notion of doubles for men in stunts/action/unique scenes and it’s taken for granted. Not a big deal in the least.

    But use of a double in a movie like Black Swan seemed unusual because the audience had no clue about it and the restrictions imposed on Sarah Lane in giving interviews before the Oscars, presumably not to jeopardize the movie’s chance at winning the coveted Oscar.

    Plus, the fact that on IMDB Sarah Lane is not credited by her name but as “Lady in the Lane.”

    The silence on the double (Sarah Lane) and the effort to downplay her role all seem like a coverup to keep the spotlight on Natalie Portman. And if you follow American politics or political movies, then you know that the coverup makes the crime/misdeed/original act look infinitely worse. 😉

  7. rama dasa   April 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    i heard about this from 20/20 but didnt catch the special,not much of a hollywood person.if i wanted to watch a “lesbo scene” i would just go to one of the many indian lesbo sites on the internet instead of sitting through 2 hours on dancing to watch a minute and a half scene with absolutly no real nudity.i also heard about 50% of all call girls in tamil nadu and mumbai have aids,that true??it seems like madras(or mumbai or that matter) is becoming the next las vegas.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: i also heard about 50% of all call girls in tamil nadu and mumbai have aids, that true?

    No, 100% do 😉

  8. MAK   June 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Saw somewhere in the comments you guys watched Black Swan. Waiting for you review on that one.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We watched it a couple of weeks back. But before posting the review we intend to watch it one more time. Hopefully soon.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login