Mila Kunis blasts 'Black Swan' controversy: 'Natalie danced her a–– off.' -- EXCLUSIVE

Black-Swan

Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Black Swan co-star Mila Kunis is speaking out in support of her friend and cast mate Natalie Portman amid accusations that the bulk of the dancing in Portman's Oscar-winning role was actually performed by her dancing double, American Ballet Theatre soloist Sarah Lane. "Natalie danced her a-- off," says Kunis. "I think it's unfortunate that this is coming out and taking attention away from [the praise]

Natalie deserved and got.”

Kunis also says Portman has been honest about how much of the demanding footwork she was — and wasn’t — able to do. “She’ll tell you [that], no, she was not on pointe when she did a fouetté [turn]. No one’s going to deny that. But she did do every ounce of every one of her dances,” she says. “[Lane] wasn’t used for everything. It was more like a safety net. If Nat wasn’t able to do something, you’d have a safety net. The same thing that I had — I had a double as a safety net. We all did. No one ever denied it.”

Last week, Lane told EW that she performed 95 percent of Portman’s full-body dance shots. Portman has been defended vocally by fiancé and Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied and director Darren Aronofsky, who insists Portman did 80 percent of the dancing in the film.

Read more:
‘Black Swan’ double claims Natalie Portman only did ‘5 percent’ of full-body dance shots in the movie
‘Black Swan’ director Darren Aronofsky defends Natalie Portman in body-double controversy
‘Black Swan’ controversy: ‘Natalie herself did most of the dancing,’ insist filmmakers

Comments (242 total) Add your comment
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  • alex

    It’s nice to see one young actress so supportive of another.. I know they’re friends and in the same movie but it still seems like a rare thing when i’m sure other women would just be so competative

    • Jenz

      Agree. It’s too bad Sarah is trying to knock on Natalie. I get her point, but she’s taken it too far. She should have complained to the studio, not the press. And anyway doubles are supposed to be quiet and not flaunted by the movie makers. Now whenever people watch Black Swan they’ll be thinking who’s dancing instead of enjoying the movie.

      • Kendra

        Why should she not speak up, she is speaking on the behalf of her profession. The girl worked darn hard to get where she is and wants people to know the truth about ballet training. If anyone is to blame it’s Natalie’s baby daddy Millepied who started this fight by giving an interview claiming Natalie did all the dancing.

      • @Jenz

        Doubles are not supposed to be quiet. Where did you hear that? Everyone get credit for their work. Even the screen actors guild started giving awards to stunt teams. Have you ever seen the credits of a film? They list the personal assistants to stars. I don’t care where you stand on this debate, saying she should be quiet because she was a double is incredibly foolish.

      • Tiffany

        I agree, we don’t watch a movie to check out the doubles. They are supposed to do what the actor can’t or shouldn’t do and they don’t get credit for that. Doing their job well and quietly is the whole point, they blend in.
        If they want to change that, talk to the director or the union instead of whining and exaggerating their involvement to the media.

      • Bon

        So one slut defends another. Is this really news?

      • @Bon

        You’re such a chauvinist.

      • Stacy

        I think they are doing this to hype dvd sales

      • A

        Lane signed a contract (for a buttload of money, incidentally) accepting producer’s discretion regarding on-screen credit. After reading the Wall Street Journal interview she gave, it’s pretty clear Ms. Lane is a passive aggressive little witch – full of backhanded compliments and smarmy self-indulgence. Someone at the studio should send her some flowers for stirring up controversy juuuuuuust in time for the DVD release. *eyeroll*

      • jess

        they should be thinking “who’s dancing” that is exactly sarah’s point. no one is saying Natalie didn’t work hard. Sarah is just trying to make a point that yes, some of that was was an illusion and ms. portman did not become a ballerina in a year.
        Sarah lane really did do most of the footwork and full body shots, saying otherwise is just wrong. in addition, implying Natalie barely danced is also wrong.
        the truth is only a small part of the dance scenes showed full-body work, so Sarah is really only in a few scenes. but those scenes are used to create the illusion Natalie became a ballerina. that is sarah’s point!

        I don’t think mila is much of a judge on quality of dancing. hers was barely adequate.

      • jess

        @ Kendra: I agree it’s ben’s crude comments that started this whole feud. he’s such a fake not to mention short prick!!! I can almost guarantee they won’t get married. poor nat deserves better.

      • anb

        I can’t believe so many are defending Portman lying! Sure, doubles aren’t supposed to be publicized….unless lies are told about the extent of their activities. This fiction that Portman is some sort of dance prodigy, or that some actress can become ballerina quality with a few months of effort, is offensive to the entire community. Sarah was perfectly happy being low profile until Portman’s fiance made the decision to start talking too much.

      • roddymartindale

        Sarah did get the credit that she deserves. She just wants more, that’s all.

      • stacie

        Actually, the husband was responding to other people’s insuations that Portman did not do all the dancing. He did not start it, but clearly he stirred it up.

      • TayMads

        I just don’t get why she is speaking out about it NOW. Why did she wait after the awards season and when no one was talking about it anymore? It doesn’t make sense to me why she waited so long to say, Natalie doesn’t dance everything is me not her. If it was me I would have said it as soon as people complimented her on her dancing…but maybe that’s just me.

      • @Bon

        some lifeless troll calls a female a slut. is that passing for trolling?

    • cici

      Ugh.

      No officially cares. So when Natalie’s grandmother chimes in with her opinion next, do not publish it, please.

      • Ella

        It’s nice of Mila, but what does she know about the final edit? Sarah Lane started commenting when she saw the film and realized that she was more than just a stunt double. She did that whole final dance. Let’s just get real here. Everybody on this project is playing “Liar Liar Tights on Fire!”

      • James

        Now I am convinced she did not dance for herself. Way too many people seem to think it is important to say she did. Is the entire cast going to chime in next? Even the director and Mr. Portman could not decide on how much she danced, so there is doubt. But, it is time to let it go. Nothing is going to change.

      • Liz Lemon

        It is nice of Mila to defend, but this whole thing seems like a NON-ISSUE! It’s irrelevant. The dancer was credited in the credits. Did she expect them to say in every interview and every press conference…”Sarah Lane is the one we owe the most credit to. She’s amazing dancing. Without her the movie wouldn’t have worked.” I think that’s what this girl wants, because otherwise this makes no sense.
        I guess this dancing thing is Natalie’s post Oscar controversey. Every single Best Actress winner has one.

    • harry

      Very true.

      • Sith Lord J

        Shut up Meg.

    • starbbycat

      This is interesting – awhile back, I read an article written by a professional ballet dancer analyzing Black Swan from the point of view of the dancing – she stated that it was clear when the professional was dancing & when it was Portman dancing, although she didnt mention the amount that was apportioned to each.

    • Pete

      Oh please. People in Hollywood have fake marriages all for publicity. So is a dance double really so out of the question? Besides, Portman has become insufferable with this movie.

      • stacie

        Really? she hasn’t a word about this. hater.

    • Leah

      agreed- it’s good to see women supporting other women in a usually catty industry!

    • JAC

      I work for the PR company that is orchestrating this controversy to bolster the DVD sales.

  • LoL

    Free Sarah!

    • Beau

      SCREW SARAH!

    • TopherGracesucks

      Topher Grace is a loser!

      • Stacy

        I would like to buy a vowel, Jack.

      • Dave

        Did Topher Grace pee in your Cheerios or something? Cuz you’ve been posting this on every random article for the past several weeks.

      • jess

        Sarah deserves her credit, but so does Natalie. is easy to judge the difference between the two. if it showed legs or feet in the scene: it was most likely Sarah, and any upper body was def. Natalie.

      • Zing!

        Tell us why.

    • The pretty people are talking, dahling.

      Yeah, The help should just shut up and be grateful for whatever they get.

    • Dawn

      So the movie is about a prima donna ballerina having a psychotic breakdown. I think Sarah is taking the idea and trying to make it into a life with it. She’s obviously paranoid that, as prima ballerina, no one will notice how fabulous she is. She has painted Natalie as the psychotic haunt. She’s actually trying to LIVE the film because Natalie was awarded the Oscar and she, prima, didn’t get what notice and attention she believed was her due, prima. Face it, it was a movie not a ballet. If Natalie was in a ballet I wouldn’t expect her to demand credit for any acting. Sarah, you stuck up prima ballerina, trying to capture the world’s attention, prima, by trying to LIVE the plot…get therepy!!!

  • Lispill

    This is beyond ridiculous … who cares if she didn’t shoot all the dance scenes? Last time I checked the Oscar she got was for best actress not best dancer! And she excelled in that department! I never expected she’d do as much as she did in the movie anyway, she’s a winner either way.

  • nana

    Agreed, Alex. I cannot believe this has turned into such a controversy! At the end of the day, that Lane chick comes out as a bratty weasel and Nat comes out as an Oscar-winning queen. So please, can we put this to bed already??

    • nana

      To clarify, I’m completely with Natalie, and think she deserves every ounce of praise she has received.

      • Bhaker

        You girls HAVE to see it, you have to. It was so good. And made me think for days after, which is alywas a true sign of a thought provoking movie in my book. And of course. Natalie Portman is beautiful. Major girl crush Rachel. Gabby- I’m so excited you’re following!! I love your blog too and can’t wait to be inspired again and again by your ever amazing photography. It’s such a passion of mine and something I definitely need to make more time for on a personal end. You would totally rock a ballet inspired photo shoot. No doubt in my mind! Love making new friends in this little blog world! Yay! Miranda- Thanks so much for following! I’m so so so nervous about the 30 in 30, mostly because I know I’m terrible at wearing the same thing again, especially in such close time frames. Eeek. Hopefully we can stick it out together! I know it’ll be a worthwhile experience! I definitely need to limit my clothing budget a bit. I guess we’ll find out soon!!!

    • Kt

      To be fair, I think Sarah Lane gave, what, one interview about this? It’s just sparked a whole slew of additional articles because other people associated with the movie have been speaking out about it as well. So the repeated mention of “Sarah Lane says Black Swan was a lie!” has made it seem like she’s doing a lot of complaining even though really, she made one statement. I think it was reasonable for Sarah Lane to think she did a lot of the dancing and to say so, and to point out that professional-level ballet takes years and years and years of hard work. She wasn’t trying to take anything away from Natalie Portman; she simply wanted some acknowledgement that her profession is very, very difficult. Having seen a few clips, I can say that in some of them, Natalie appears rather ungainly in her movements, but in others she moves gracefully and flawlessly. That gives me pause. Again, this isn’t to take anything away from her performance as an actress or her work to improve her dancing. But…despite Mila Kunis and the director weighing in, I’m still undecided.

      • Rickie

        And when u finally make your decision, nothing will happen and no one will give a sh*t

      • nana

        Rickie: that was brutal and unnecessary. But it was also hilarious. Well played.

      • Erin

        Actually Sarah’s interview was in response of Benjamin’s interview where he said:
        “There are articles now talking about her dance double [American Ballet Theatre dancer Sarah Lane] that are making it sound like [Lane] 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.”
        I totally agree with Kendra, he’s a douchebag and the one that started up all this crap. I know he’s proud of his new fiancee but there’s no reason to be so dismissive of someone elses hard work. Sarah isn’t looking for accolades, she’s just defending herself since he pretty much said Natalie deserves all the credit. As it is Darren said she did 80% at best and there’s evidence that the CGIed her head on a lot of shots. Kudos to both Natalie and Sarah where due.

      • Debs

        The thing is… Sarah actually gets credit by her work. Just look at the final credits in the movie. She appears twice. As “Lady in the Lane” and on “Stunts” which is the work she did. So? If she wanted more recognition, she should have agreed that on the contract. And about the percent Natalie did, I think they says all the movements from coregraphy, the takes from her waist and up. Now she has point on how the producers managed all this, but Portman is not guilty and definitely deserves the Oscar.

      • Courtney

        She gave another interview to the Daily Beast and she comes off as really rude and condescending. She’s playing this all wrong. She technically has the moral high ground but she keeps making personal attacks and complaining – which paint her in a really bad light.

      • Cthun

        @Rickie: “And when u finally make your decision, nothing will happen and no one will give a sh*t”

        And yet you were sufficiently moved to spill a few electrons to proclaim this? Very well, I dedicate these electrons to call dub you King Assmouth. Yea and verily.

  • mm

    rock on, Natalie and Mila! Black Swan is the best

    • liesl

      Black Swan is the Best? The best? Really?

      • ML

        It’s a valid opinion about one of the best reviewed movies of 2010. What’s the big deal?

      • Aly

        They didn’t specify the best what. It’s a figure of speech. Do you give everyone the third degree when they say things like “You’re the best,” “she’s the best” “pizza’s the best,” etc?

  • Jolie

    Deja vu. This is the same thing that happened in “Flash Dance” 30 years ago. Maybe the DVD is about to go on sale, and controversy creates free publicity.

    • Mike

      DING DING DING. This type of controversy is perfect for some publicity when the DVD comes out tomorrow!!

      • Debs

        Could be…

    • guinevere

      Man! I was all excited that I was going to get to say this since it was so far down in the comments. :p

      But yeah, this is the *exact* same “controversy” that happened in Flashdance.

      Then again, didn’t the body double in Flashdance end up being proven right or something?

  • aew

    Can people please just get over this? I never doubted Natalie from the beginning but come on, when you have the director (Darren Aronofsky) and a costar (Mila Kunis) defending her, the fact that she danced in most of the movie is obviously the truth. Still have to see the movie. Hope Lane’s 15 minutes are up!

    • Kendra

      Yeah like the director and co-star have nothing to gain. Thanks to the success of this movie, Darren Aronofsky made enough money to drop out of directing the Wolverine sequel.

      • Beau

        NATALIE HATER

      • Stacy

        You know you have made it in this town when you can eventually turn down the comicbook movies to put food on the table

    • Jaded1

      Lane’s 15 minutes are hardly up. She’s a SOLOIST for the American Ballet Theater. That’s only on of the most prestigious ballet companies in the entire world. What did you do today?

      • Woot

        What did I do today? I had a solo for the American Ballet Theater… nbd.

    • Ap

      Yeah, the director and costar defended the star – of course it has to be true.

      • ML

        Maybe, but what proof do you have that it’s a lie???

    • Cyn

      “when you have the director (Darren Aronofsky) and a costar (Mila Kunis) defending her, the fact that she danced in most of the movie is obviously the truth”

      That’s a joke, right? Right?? It should be.

      Lane’s 15 minutes are up? How the hell would you know?

      • ML

        And how the hell do you know that everyone but Sarah is lying about this? The same argument can be used on both sides.

  • Kendra

    This all started with that free-loader baby daddy of hers Millepied giving an interview but going off on how much real ballet dancing she did. I know he needs to keep it up for his meal ticket but Natalie was so gracious when SHE was the one doing the interviews. She gave credit to the double, she had no illusions that she became a ballerina in 1.5 years of training.

    Mr. Millepied needs to just keep his mouth shut and let Natalie speak for herself. Count my words she will never marry him, they will have the baby then go their separate ways. He is nothing but trouble waiting to happen.

    • Lincoln

      Uh huh.

    • Jerry

      I agree with Kendra. On Set Romances never last. He is a classless putz. I hope natalie hides her Star Wars money.

    • john

      Actually Millepied was responding to a previous interview of Lane, her first tell-all one, before the ew article. So no, he did not start this.

      • john

        the interview article was on dance magazine btw

      • Erin

        I read that his interview initiated it. Has anyone got a copy of this article though. I doubt it was dismissive like his “she just did the footwork etc”.

      • Elmogodario

        - i LOVE that chair!!! and of course the RUG!!! no one slhuod be without one! no one!!! and that room grey walls are yummy! hehe and you are soooooo right about ice dancing their faces, the moves, the corny costume! why seriously why! and also i literally (and I mean literally) just thought the other day i need to break out my sunglasses .so, then i thought why don’t people wear them more often in the winter when there is snow and sun well, i am seriously blind:) and seriously, well, you could never look horrible!! never never never sooo BEEEEAAAAUUUTTTTIIIIFFFUUUULLLL you are;) and don’t worry when that day comes and it will be here in 2 blinks of an eye well, nothing will be able to take down the amazing, awakening, overwhelmingly joyful feeling that you are walking out the day you have been dreaming of forever for me nothing could go wrong! sure they screwed up my make-up and seriously made me look like a clown (I went to my room and re-did it) and sure the wind was so strong that my hair looked like a rats nest by the time the ceremony and photos were over but IT WAS THE MOST WONDERFUL GLORIOUS DAY IN THE WORLD well, with the acception of when Jesus died on the cross and His awesomely, longingly awaited return COME LORD COME!!!but it will be perfectly wonderful! i promise you that you know why cause God designed you two for one another and your not going into the day for the day, but for the covenant with the perfect one for you:) I can’t wait!!! hehe ok sorry for the sub-blog..i literally just went off:) all this to say i won’t miss a tidbit tuesday:) they’re GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRReat!

    • CLL

      Totally agree. He’s nothing but a social climber, aged 33 (retirement age for male ballet dancers), looking at NP as his sugar mama and way out and up. The way he seems to treat people, lies will easily dribble out of both sides of his mouth.

    • @kendra

      Apparently, u are ill informed, u moron.

      Idiot uncle victim

    • efrain

      Kendra get a life or get offline. Your dad is probably typing 4 u. I think Sarah is lying.

  • cecekunst

    Sarah Lane is a moron for thinking that Black Swan is her usual ballet production.

    • Ali

      I did not realize it was PG-13. This is most tnrofuunate not only because we can’t be treated like adults, but the sterile violence without consequences. Especially when it is at the hands of a child, consequences could lead to more interesting character introspection.

  • Lincoln

    You tell it, Mila ‘Sweet Lips’ Kunis.

  • name

    Remember people she got the oscar for her act performance not for how she danced. Period.

    • geofferyriley

      Yes, Natalie is a line memorizer. It’s amazing how our culture glorifies people who learn other people’s words. NP got an Oscar…does she have to take credit for Lane’s 22 yrs of training also?

      • Aly

        I suppose you were really mad when that deaf actress won an oscar once. She didn’t even have to talk. Anyone can recite lines. Bringing a character to life is another matter. And you can do that without words at all.

  • Kay

    Lane sounds like a self-righteous, snotty little brat. Rock on Natalie.

  • Cris

    If they’re asking Mila Kunis, there’s only ONE scene I want her to tell me if Natalie (or her) used a body double or if it was really them …

  • astrochicks

    @kendra what’s up with you girl. Natalie Portman’s fiance is a choreographer and a well respected one at that. Hardly a freeloader.
    What are you jealous?

    • Beau

      Kendra is just “one of those”. She’s the same in every thread about anybody. She’s your typical all knowing, expert on all things.

    • greg

      kendra is one of those typical posters who are easy to make look dumb. I saw that article john mentioned…kendra looks stup*d now, LOL!

      hows it feel to look dumb, kendra?

      HAHAHA!

  • astrochicks

    Benjamin Millepied (born 10 June 1977)[1] is a principal dancer at New York City Ballet[2] and a ballet choreographer of international reputation.

    Millepied joined New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet in 1995, was promoted to soloist in 1998 and became principal dancer in 2002.[2] Millepied is also a choreographer, creating dances for City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and his own company, Danses Concertantes.[

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