Natalie Portman's 'Black Swan' double on '20/20': Filmmakers are 'completely lying'

The Black Swan controversy keeps on spinning. In an interview with ABC’s 20/20 that aired Friday, Sarah Lane — the dance double who has contended Portman did “5 percent” of the full-body dancing in the film — said that the filmmakers who have come to Portman’s defense are “completely lying.” Director Darren Aronofsky said in a statement last month that, of the 139 dance shots in the film, 111 are of Portman “untouched,” while 28 are of Lane: “If you do the math, that’s 80 percent Natalie Portman.”

“I’m not speaking because I feel like I should be heralded,” Lane said to 20/20‘s Elizabeth Vargas. “I’m speaking because [the filmmakers] are completely lying about the amount of dancing Natalie did in the movie. When those incorrect things are coming out, and they threaten the entire principle of ballet, then I feel like I need to say something.” Lane also said she “expected” Portman not to thank her in her Oscar acceptance speech, and that she doesn’t feel “all disgruntled” by the omission. You can watch a clip of the interview below:

Read more:
Natalie Portman: See her grow up on screen
Natalie Portman on ‘Black Swan’ controversy: ‘I know what went on.’
Mila Kunis blasts ‘Black Swan’ controversy: ‘Natalie danced her a–– off.’
‘Black Swan’ director Darren Aronofsky defends Natalie Portman in body-double controversy

‘Black Swan’ double claims Natalie Portman only did ’5 percent’ of full-body dance shots in the movie

Comments (566 total) Add your comment
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  • Nick

    Pretty bizarre story if you ask me.

    • LOL

      Free Sarah Lane!

      • Zach

        Leave Natalie alone!

      • Your Queen

        EW needs to take this NON-STORY and reem it up their behinds. It’s a movie. WHO CARES IF SOME DANCE SCENES WHERE STUNT DOUBLES? The EW editors and writers and completely out of touch with their readers.
        STOP promoting this trash.

      • SteveStrifeX

        Why am I having flashbacks to the Friends episode where Joey said he “Writes a lot of his own lines?”

      • pickle t1ts

        …You know, I thinks she needs to to, you know, drink a tall glass of, you know, shut the fuhk up and, you know, learn to, you know, realize that if she, you know, goes on a talk magazine and, you know, say it’s not about herself but continues to , you know, make it about herself and the recognition she didn’t get, you know…?

      • Tom

        You go girl. We are behind you 100 percent of the way!! Kick their butts!

        Free Sarah!!!

      • JJ

        Everybody is overlooking the major issue: Natalie smeared the industry by implying that by merely training for a few months, she had become a world class dancer. The truth of the matter is Sarah did the dancing and they put Natalie’s head over her own head via CGI. Then Natalie had the nerve to take credit for Natalie’s dancing instead of just coming out and saying Sarah was responsible for the dancing in the movie.

      • Yana

        I feel sorry for Sarah she is a great dancer and of course she did a great job, as professional dancers we are trained how to act, it is a part of the job for some one who dosen’t know what real Ballet is, she deserves at least to be mentioned at the Oscar Awards . Awesome job as professional dancer! Yeah why would you get some awards you just a “ballerina” who cares about your hard work

      • A

        JJ, Natalie never implied that she became a world class dancer. You are straight up lying about that.

      • @ Yanna

        lmao, so they need to thank stunt doubles and such now in their Oscar speeches? They’re already too long.

      • @A

        Natalie’s fiance has said Natalie became a world-class dancer with a small amount of training. Natalie never denied what he said, and what he continues to say. All she has to do is say, “he loves me so he gets a bit zealous in praising me.” But since she hasn’t muzzled him, the implication is that he is speaking for her. So I would say that JJ is correct.

      • @@Yanna

        Lane was more than Portman’s stunt double. As her dance double, she made Portman look believable as a dancer. Portman’s role required that she appear to be believable as a dancer. Her performance would not have succeeded without the audience believing she was a real dancer. Portman couldn’t do that on her own, and needed Lane. Portman does owe Lane thanks.

      • DL

        Sorry to burst some of your bubbles, but Portman received ballet training for the better part of a decade as a child, up until her acting career started to take off with “The Professional.” You can see videos of her doing ballet as a kid on YouTube. So she already had the fundamentals.
        Furthermore, you’re working on an assumption that she has to be as skilled as a true ballet dancer to pull off the moves she does in the film, which is patently untrue. A real ballet dancer has to be able to pull off the moves every single time, on the first try, without fail, night after night. If Natalie was able to nail the move one time in five, that would’ve been enough for the film.
        Use your brains, people! You’re smarter than this. Don’t be swept away by gossip.

      • Really?

        I was just wondering if any other Oscar winners may have had similar issues? Did Hillary Swank have any body doubles or stand ins for any of the boxing scenes in Million Dollar Baby or did she do it all herself? Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull? If someone did stand in for them, did they thank them when they won their oscars? I really don’t know, I’m asking? Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her ACTING! It was not a best dancer award. I was convinced she was crazy! Great job Natalie and sorry for the contrived controversy and failed attempt to give this girl her 15 minutes (which she’s completely, you know, not, you know, taking advantage of, you know!!!)Let it go EW – please.

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        It is the first and best club for wealthy people and their admirers. D’ating CEOs, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, professional models and cheerleaders, and even Hollywood celebrities is an easy experience there…

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        nice experience! @@@@

      • @ Yanna

        No, she doesn’t owe her thanks.
        Stunt doubles know what work they are doing and that it’s sort of a thankless job (not that it’s not appreciated). It’s just usually not mentioned in award speeches. This Sarah girl has issues, she wants attention nothing more.

      • Roger

        It appears that Natalie is a big fat liar!

      • Susie

        pretty sleezy of them

      • kara

        No, natalie never, ever said or implied that she had become a “world class dancer” with just a few months of training. This is story completely made up in your own head and not supported by any actual interview or statement.

      • Suzanne Natalie is personally responsible for what someone ELSE said in an interview. That’s an interesting concept.

      • alison

        For all the folks whining about the fact she got an oscar, there IS NO DANCING oscar. There is an ACTING oscar — given for, like, ACTING. It wasn’t “best dancer” in a movie. It was best “actress” in a movie. This dancing double didn’t do any of the ACTING. She just showed up, twirled on her toes a bit for the camera like the hired help she was. Now it unfortunate that she apparently thought being a double was somehow going to lead to a fabulous career of fame and fortune. But in reality most dancers end up teaching gawky 12 year olds and that’s probably the best she’s going to be able to do now that she’s made a fool of herself.

      • @DL

        The youtube video is of her tap dancing, NOT doing ballet. She’s not in the ballet dance, and all the places that video is posted tell you that she’s first seen during the tap section.
        Portman starred in “The Professional” when she was 12. She stopped dancing then, and it’s stupid to think that she could pick up again in her late 20’s as if she still remembered anything she learned as a child

        The film studio actually had a video on youtube showing how Lane did the dancing and they used CGI to put Portman’s face on Lane’s body. They have since re-edited the video and removed the mentions of Lane. The sites that linked to that original video, like “Dance Magazine” say that the original video proved that Lane did Portman’s dancing. Now the links say that the original video was removed due to copyright issues. Strange that there would be copyright issues with something the studio itself posted
        “Don’t be swept away by gossip”
        Then stop spreading it DL.

      • @Really?

        Swank & DeNiro did all their own boxing in their respective Academy Award winning roles.

      • @Kara

        Potman’s fiance, ballet dancer/choreographer Ben Milleoied, has repeatedly said that she became a great dancer in a short period of time, who did almost all the dancing in the film. Portman has been specifically asked about his comments and she had not denied what he said.

      • Dave

        Uhm, who really cares? It’s freakin’ ballet… When I go to see an action movie, I really don’t care if the lead does 95% of all action scenes. As long as it ‘appears’ that the lead did the action scenes I’m good.

      • Thomas

        why smear some body double? she didn’t say anything

      • Ed

        DL, do you realize what a pompous a-hole you sound like with your “sorry to burst some of your bubbles.” Everyone is entitled to their opinion. People aren’t sitting around waiting for you to correct them and show them how they should think. And I love the “Use your brains people” last line. That’s right, because those of us who may not agree with you are not using our brains. What a pompous d-bag.

      • HPotter

        Not really. Ballet is an art form just like acting, more pure if you ask me. And the performers are entitled to respect and acknowledgement. There are some actors who mention their stunt doubles when they win awards. Common decency required the movie makers and the actor to acknowledge Sarah’s role.

      • MattyWillWinSeason23

        This girl is annoying. Portman ftw. Oh wait, she already won. Nevermind then

    • Rachel

      you know….you know….you know

      • Devin Faraci

        Sarah Lane, go take a flying f**k at the moon!!! You lying c**t!!!

      • Paula

        so you think dancing is easier than acting? think again dbags

      • Zakry

        No one said dancing was easier than acting.

        Here’s the thing. No. One. Cares. No one gives a hoot about the percentage of Natalie. This dancer is making a nuisance of herself and its going to cost her work. Who’s going to hire someone who is likely to be a pain in the a$$? She needs to shut up about this. Play the game, get your check, move on.

    • John

      Because you clearly don’t know the time and sacrifice that goes into being an elite athlete, then not having your effort and contribution be properly acknowledged.

      • Bonnie

        You are kidding me… she was PAID!! That IS acknowledgement. How many body doubles and stunt doubles do you think work in Hollywood? They aren’t crying about how believable an actor was because of their work because it’s their JOB.

      • jk

        Bonnie: Did Shia LaBeouf win an Oscar for “Transformers” while claiming he did 95% of the stunt work on his film, when in reality the stunt double did the majority of it? That’s the issue. I honestly cannot believe that so many people do not understand what a big deal this is.

      • babysloth

        When I talk about my impression of Black Swan with others, it is NOT about the dancing scenes. I talk about the neurosis of Natalie and her descent into madness. I talk about her character’s mental health and that at the end of the day is what won NP her Oscar. You think Julia Roberts push up bra won her HER Oscar??? Get over it people!

      • jk

        @babysloth: That trivializes things quite a bit, doesn’t it? No one denied the existence of Julia Roberts’ push-up bra, first of all. And I agree with you that Natalie’s performance alone may have been enough to win the Oscar, but not in the context of the fact that the filmmakers outrightly lied about the extent of Sarah Lane’s involvement, effectively invalidating a big chunk of Natalie’s performance. A huge part of Portman’s Oscar campaign was the fact that she “became a dancer” so fast; if you think that it didn’t have a huge bearing on her winning the Oscar, you’re pretty naive.

      • @JK

        I see what you are getting at, but I have to point out a few other points associated with this story.
        Natalie is a semi-trained dancer who spent a significant amount of time leading up to the shoot prepping for the role. How much of the dancing is truly her? I have no idea and I also don’t think that is really too important. Hilary Swank and Mickey Rourke played boxers but they didn’t have to be a professional boxer/fighter to deserve the Oscar. Doubles don’t typically receive any attention whatsoever, beyond their name in the credits and a paycheck. Right or wrong, that is what they themselves agree to when they are cast.
        Anyway, the facts as I know them (based on gossip in the news) is that Natalie’s trainer (and now her fiance and father to her baby) was living with his ballet girlfriend until Natalie came along and he left her for Natalie. Sarah herself admitted to being a friend of the ex and then minimalized that friendship. Also, she waited to come out with this until after the Oscars. Why would that be?

        Granted, I have no idea what the truth is, but I really don’t care if Natalie danced all or none of the movie. Her acting was freaky and the movie was well-made. Sarah’s statements seem to be a case of vindictive retaliation as opposed to legitimate support of the ballet world.

      • jk

        @ @jk:
        Sarah has said that the filmmakers specifically told her not to say anything during the run up to the Oscars, which explains the timing of her revelation. Also, it seems to be sort of a last straw thing, as her statements came after Benjamin Millepied repeatedly asserted that Natalie did 95% of the dancing (although you’re right, we’ll probably never know the exact truth). In regards to Hilary Swank playing a boxer (Mickey Rourke played a wrestler in “The Wrestler”), no one associated with “Million Dollar Baby” ever denied that Hilary had stunt doubles, or the amount of training she had to do, or likened her to a professional boxer. The difference here is the the “Black Swan” filmmakers tried to get the public to think that Natalie did the majority of her dancing and became nearly as good as a pro in a few months, and outrightly lying about the extent to which dance doubles were involved. it’s insulting to the viewer and to ballet dancers to be so dishonest to this extent. Also, not to trivialize boxing, which is also an incredibly demanding sport and not something that just anyone can do, but just being able to get up en pointe is incredibly difficult; to do it well it not something one learns overnight. It’s fine if it’s not Natalie dancing, but they need to be forthright about it.
        And also, I know you mean that you personally believe that Natalie’s acting alone was enough to win the Oscar (I tend to feel that way too), but a huge part of her campaign was hammering home the idea that she became this great dancer to truly embody the role. So it’s not irrelevant to call into question the amount of dancing she did when it was such a huge part of her campaign for the Academy Award. It’s very rarely just about acting with the Oscars – it’s much more political, and if this had come out sooner I guarantee she wouldn’t have won the Oscar. So to me, it’s not at all vindictive – she’s the one who has to defend herself.

      • kahuna

        Since when do doubles in movies try to glam the glory for themselves? It just isn’t done. This girl is not behaving in a professional manner. She took a job. She was paid for the job. That is all the glory she deserves.

      • @@JK

        “Natalie is a semi-trained dancer’

        Taking some lessons as a young girl, and then taking some again in her late 20’s, doesn’t make her a semi-trained dancer. It just makes her a non-professional dancer who took some lessons. There are loads of people who aren’t pro dancers who have as much, if not more, experience than Portman.

      • Squishmar

        It’s funny babysloth should mention Julia Roberts and her push-up bra… because, if I’m not mistaken, she in fact DID thank the “village” of people it took to help her achieve that cleavage. The costumers were almost like a special effects team.

        Anyone at all curious about Natalie’s fiance’s name? I mean, a choreographer whose name translates to “thousand feet”??? This has to be a stage name, doesn’t it? If not, it was pre-destined that he become a dancer.

    • Meier

      Portman should sue.

      • Rachel

        I concur

      • Bender

        for what? telling the truth?

      • marco

        Libel, for one.

      • @marco

        Libel is when someone WRITES something that’s not true. First of all, Lane hasn’t written anything.
        Second, the film company would have to release all the raw footage of the dancing to prove that Lane is lying. Since the film company had originally posted footage online showing Lane dancing, and how they used CGI to put Portman’s face on Lane’s body, it would support Lane’s story. That footage has been removed & re-edited by the film company to remove Lane. But the original footage was seen by enought people, including the editors of “Dance Magazine,” for the fiimmakers to deny its existance.
        Portman won’t sue because it will just make her look bad.

      • marco

        I don’t think Natalie could care less what this publicity w**** raves about.

      • Thomas

        well then she is going to love Shane Dawson’s easter video on youtube

    • nat

      Good luck trying to find a job after this. Just be graceful and stop talking, even if she’s right, there’s no point on keeping this argument. Nobody wins from this

      • dizzy blonde

        Of course she can find a job as a dancer. Anyone in the DANCE business knows the real story!!! She is not a slave to Hollywood!! She dances in a ballet company in NY!!

      • Bonnie

        @Nat, I 100% agree. I don’t know how she thinks this is going to help her any. If she ever thinks she’s going to be hired again after making such a scene for something she got PAID to do…unbelievable.. And again—no body or stunt double has ever been acknowledged at the Oscars. The Oscars are for ACTORS and from my understanding it was Natalie’s superb acting that won her the Oscar, not her ability or inability to dance.
        @dirty blond–everyone knows that dancers are only in a ballet company for so long as dancers and then they’re told their too old and are resigned to teaching, choreography OR—body doubles for Hollywood…so she just blew one of her post company job options. And if her community knows her work, then it shouldn’t matter what other people are saying.

      • jk

        My above comment was directed at Bonnie.

      • jk

        Oops .. I meant my below comment, under tom, was directed at Bonnie. Don’t know how I screwed that up…

      • @Bonnie

        Former ballet stars become “body doubles” in Hollywood? Really? Soemone who spent years studying their craft, leaves it to stand in for nude scenes, or close-ups of body parts? Because that’s what “body doubles” do. Ms. Lane wasn’t a “body double” which is why she isn’t happy that she was billed that way.
        Ms. Portman has an actual body double for her nude scene in “Your Highness.”

      • nat

        I wonder who did the hto bed scenes with Kunis in bed….

      • Larry

        the irish girl that did the freezing cold lake scene

      • Thomas

        sue the pants off of her for this smear campaign

    • tom

      great….got it….sarah is a great dancer…..however….she is not natalie portman….not that i even care about natalie….all movies have stunt doubles….get over yourself….she just wants attention….hence natalie not speaking…..

      • jk

        A stunt double is completely different from a dance double, if your movie includes such a large amount of dance. Even more so, the filmmakers and NATALIE HERSELF all repeatedly harp on the fact that she trained so hard and did so well. Those comments would be fine if they gave the dance double(s) her due, but since they don’t, it looks like they’re trying to cover it up. The fact that Natalie won an Academy Award also changes things. I personally think that her acting performance merited the award; however, the omission of the truth about the dancing really turns me off. I still think she would have deserved the Oscar if they had been honest about the amount of dancing she did, but since they weren’t, I feel tricked. Put it this way: you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Tom Cruise had a stunt double in Mission: Impossible, and you wouldn’t be surprised that Natalie had a dance double – but people repeatedly denying the dance double’s participation is dishonest.

      • Julie

        I have a friend who is a professional dancer and says that though the most of the dancing is very good, it’s quite clearly not done by a pro. To me this says that either Natalie really did most of the dancing, or that Lane is not really such a great dancer. I’m inclined to believe the former.

      • Bonnie

        @jk–I repeat it’s a movie and the body double was PAID to make Natalie look like a pro. Natalie and others have admitted that the double did the difficult dance scenes, no one argued that. However I want to know how the double knows how much she is in the movie versus how much Natalie is. She isn’t the editor or the director and the actual director gave an exact count of how often we see Natalie. She just keeps saying that they’re lying but if she wants to go scene by scene and prove it’s her and not Natalie then maybe she could make a real case. In this instance she was paid for her work and there’s no reason to acknowledge her, just as another commenter said–Hillary Swanks boxing body double wasn’t acknowledged or thanked during press of Million Dollar Baby or her win. Apparently only dancers believe they should get extra credit for work they’ve been paid to do (referring to others comments on Flashdance). Can you think of a single movie, Oscar winning or otherwise where the technical double (concert pianist, athlete, dancer, etc.) was verbally acknowledged, especially during an Oscar speech??

      • jk

        @ Bonnie: And I repeat: the issue is not that Sarah Lane thinks she should have been thanked in Natalie Portman’s acceptance speech – I don’t understand why when people read that Lane wants to be “acknowledged” they jump right to “WHY SHOULD SHE BE THANKED IN AN ACCEPTANCE SPEECH WHEN NO OTHER STUNT PEOPLE ARE?” You are aware that actors who are up for the Oscar campaign for the award, right? It’s not just like Natalie Portman got nominated and showed up at the ceremony hoping for the best. Every interview, press junket, and television appearance leading up to the voting is a plug for her performance, and a major source of validation for whether or not Natalie deserved the Oscar was the fact that she supposedly went through such grueling training and became this incredible ballerina and did such an amazing job as a dancer – not just as an actress. And the failure of Natalie and the filmmakers to acknowledge Lane during the campaign is the part that screams cover-up. If that theme of “overnight transformation” were not present in Natalie’s campaign, I’m 90% sure she wouldn’t have won the Oscar.
        And it’s ridiculous for you to say that other stunt doubles are never acknowledged for their work in creating the finished product of a movie. The Oscars are not just for actors, they’re for everyone who helps create a film. If there is a film where the costumes or the make-up or another element are a large part of why the movie is a huge success, filmmakers and actors are generally quick to acknowledge those people’s contributions (again, not always in acceptance speeches; you guys do know there are other forums from which actors and filmmakers can speak, right?) It’s the fact that, while most viewers would assume a dance double was used upon first glance at the film, the filmmakers deliberately dissuaded them from thinking this. When it all comes down to it, if the stunt or dance or whatever double is so integral to the final product of the film, and the filmmakers lie about their contribution to help the star win an Oscar, then yes, that’s wrong.
        And, seriously? You don’t think you’d be able to pick your own body out onscreen? You’re pushing it, girl, to try to make your point. I also read somewhere that Natalie and Sarah wore different pointe shoes, so if you know what you’re looking for it’s quite easy to tell them apart.

      • jk

        @ Bonnie: And yes, they acknowledged that Sarah Lane did a couple of hard sequences … and that was it. That’s quite different than what Lane is saying she did, so, yes, the filmmakers are denying her involvement.

      • marco

        jk, you’re an idiot. Get a life why don’t you.

      • @bonnie

        You don’t seem to understand the difference between a body double, stunt double, and dance double.
        BODY DOUBLE- doubles for nude scenes or specific body parts; main requirement is how they look.
        STUNT DOUBLE- double for stunts that are too dangerous for the actor to do.
        DANCE DOUBLE- a professional dancer is hired to dance in place of the actor. For Black Swan they needed a professional ballerina, and not a Hollywood dancer. They asked Lane, a well-known ballerina, because of her skill and being the same size as Portman
        “However I want to know how the double knows how much she is in the movie versus how much Natalie is”
        The studio had a video that showed how they put Portman’s face on Lane’s body for the dance scenes. I saw it and it showed that Lane did far more dancing than she’s getting credit for. The film studio posted it on youtube. Once this became a controversy, the studio took it down and edited Lane out of the video. You can go to the Dance Magazine website to read about the video
        I think Portman did a great acting job in the movie. But after seeing the video that the movie studio itself put online showing how they used CGI to make Lane look like Portman, I know that Lane deserves credit for a lot. For instance, Lane did the entire black swan dance and Portman was later CGI’d over Lane’s face. They showed this on the video, so it can’t be denied. BTW: the orchestra & audience were also CGI.

      • @bonnie

        Hillary Swank did her own boxing in Million Dollar Baby, and no one has ever come forward to challenge that. Clint Eastwood is pretty honest about his filmmaking, and it’s doubtful he would ever lie about doubles. He doesn’t lie about his own. And cameras recording behind-the-scenes showed Swank doing the fighting.
        The movie was about a girl who wanted to be a boxer, not someone who was a world champion. Swank’s changing her body and learning to box was enough to make her believable as a amateur boxer. And if you don’t know what the real story is about, then I won’t spoil it for you. Let’s just say, that it really doesn’t turn out to be about boxing
        For Black Swan, a world class dancer was needed, and they asked Lane to dance in the movie. Video released by the movie studio showed that Lane did a great deal of the dancing & they used CGI to put Portman’s face over her’s.

      • Soonergirl

        I’m really tired of this. Who cares?! Natalie won an Oscar for acting, and she did at least SOME of the dancing. There wasn’t even that much dancing in the movie! My aunt is a professional dancer, and she said all her friends were disappointed by the lack of dancing. And, I agree with Julie…I also heard that professional dancers can tell a lot of the dancing wasn’t done by a professional. Why would this Sarah Lane want to take credit for all of it if it isn’t that good?

      • Lissa

        I was really cnoufsed, and this answered all my questions.

      • Staysha

        Your atircle perfectly shows what I needed to know, thanks!

    • jul

      But this isn’t the first time this has happened. Back in the 80s, “Flashdance” had its own “scandal” when Marine Jahan complained about getting no credit as Jennifer Beals’ dance double. Don’t piss off a dancer, I guess…

    • abadstroller

      Oh, “Tiny Dancer”…where to start…you accepted a job where you are a dance double, like a stuntwoman accepts a job for doing stunts. That’s the gig. If this is the first time you’ve been a dance double, now you know…in case you would ever audition to so this again (I’m sure that your headshot is circled in red on their clipboard now). In-demand stuntwomen and body doubles understand that they aren’t hired because of their personal name, but because of their ability and their physical resemblence to the actress they’re doubling for. That IS the job. Portman worked her tush off to try to look like YOU dancing. So “Angelina Ballerina”, be proud of the work you did, bank that paycheck, and move on so we can stop talking about this. I know I’M done….

      • Bonnie

        Thanks @abadstroller This is a more concise version of my point! Agree!

      • kahuna

        Not only that. The girl didn’t edit the movie and has no idea what shots in the edited movie are of her or of Portman. I would imagine that they both filmed many of the same dance sequences, then decided what dancer’s performance they would use. For all she knows, maybe Portman’s performances were adequate enough to use in the film. The truth is, she just doesn’t know.

      • nat

        Amen abadstroller

      • @kahuna

        Yes, she does know. Everyone who watched the video that the film studio put on youtube showing the special effects, knows.
        I watched the video and it showed a number of scenes where Lane danced and they used CGI to put Portman’s face or head over Lane’s. Once this whole controversy started, they removed the original video and substituted one with most of Lane edited out. Dance Magazine has written about this video, and how odd it is that the original showing Lane has disappeared.
        I saw it, and that’s why I believe Lane. I do think Portman’s acting was great in the movie, and deserving of an Oscar. I just don’t understand why they’re trying to discredit Lane. Can’t they just say both women did what they are experts at, and leave it at that?

    • Angie

      I still don’t believe her. Can we put this girl on STFU island?

      • @Angie

        No, you’re aleady there taking up all the space.

    • andy

      what a self-absorbed whiner she is….PULEEZE STFU!!!!

      • @andy

        You first.

      • andy

        hey moron i’m not on TV whining about not getting enough credit and calling other people liars

    • Bender

      so what exactly did she get an award for? it sounds like she was barely doing anything throughout this whole movie except for a few lines of dialog

      • D

        Uh…What do other actors wins their oscars for. She didnt win because of the dancing

    • Bluto

      Well someone obviously NEVER wants to work in Hollywood ever, ever again. Be sure to get that SAG card framed honey.

    • Rush

      She’ll never work in this town again.

  • jay

    who cares anyway?

    • Thom

      Amen. Shut up, lady, NOBODY CARES.

      • @Thom

        Some of us care. So please speak for yourself, and don’t pretend to speak for everyone.

      • Jeff

        Agreed! Enough already.

      • Rachel

        EW needs to stop these articles

    • Liz Lemon

      I know. Why is she still talking about this sh*t?!

      • A-K87

        I agree with Liz Lemon for the 1000th time. Surely, the woman applied for the job in the same capacity a stuntman for a Bruce Willis film would. If she wants to be the star, she should’ve auditioned for Portman’s role. The way she is conducting herself lacks grace.

      • Jeff

        It’s just crass ! Give it a rest lady. 99% of the world knows it’s a MOVIE. geeeze already!

      • @A-K87

        She didn’t apply for a job as a stunt person, or any other job. They came to Lane, as a world-class ballerina, to dance in the film. They needed someone of her level that also was the same size as Portman. Benjamin Millepied, the film’s choreographer (& now Portman’s fiance) knew Lane and recommended her.
        They hired Lane for her great dance talent, and now are saying that a dance amateur like Portman easily matched Lane’s ability. Portman and her fiance lack grace for disrespecting Lane’s talent and what she added to the film.

      • Jayne

        Sorry, but Sarah Lane is not a world class dancer. She is only a soloist at ABT, and at 33 years of age, is not going to make principal before she retires. Sarah usually gets lead roles only in the matinees, or when the truly world class dancers (Vishneva, Herrera, Kent, etc) are not available.

        When she does retire, Ms. Lane’s name can be googled until the end of time as a whiner. So while she will continue to work as a soloist at ABT, this may come back to bite her in the corporate world when she starts job hunting. No one likes whiiiine with their cheese.

      • Jayne is 100% right.

        Sarah is a soloist not a principle. If you check her credits from the ballet company she is not even dancing the black or white swan when they put on the ballet. She is credited with the role of a “little swan”.
        The more I hear about this the less I care about Sarah Lane. I haven’t heard anything derogatory from Natalie Portman. She is conducting herself as a lady. Maybe Natalie only did 5% of the actual dancing we see in the movie but I bet that she did 100% of the dancing during rehearsals and on tape. It was the director/producers/editors who decided what footage was actually used in the movie.
        Natalie won the Oscar for her acting not dancing. Did Sarah Lane do even 5% of the acting in the movie?

      • Anon


        ONLY a soloist. Wow.

    • richard zimmerman

      I care. And so do you or you wouldn’t be on this blog

      • Caren

        I think the reason it matters is because Portman won the Oscar, and taking credit for it all and PEOPLE THINK SHE DID ALL the dancing. You guys aren’t getting why this is a big deal?

      • jk

        I’m with you, Caren. If I hear one more person say “it’s just like a stunt double…” Yeah, except nobody denies the fact that stunt doubles do the dangerous stuff rather than the actors. If everyone on Black Swan had just been forthright about the amount of dancing Natalie did in the first place, I wouldn’t feel so tricked.

      • racefan111

        If any of you saw the movie and actually think Natalie did all the dancing, you are dumbf**ks. Those of us with IQs over 80 realize someone else did the dancing (and don’t care). This dancer needs to go away – or maybe she wants a career in reality TV?

      • Chrisbee

        Never saw or heard anyone say Natalie did all the dancing. Saw the movie. Knew it wasn’t her doing all the dancing. Enjoyed the movie anyway. Saw the credits. Saw this girl’s name listed as a Stunt Double. Wasn’t surprised.

        jk still want to be tired of people referring to her as like a stunt double? She WAS a stunt double. Calling her a “dance double” and arguing a hair thin distinction doesn’t change that. She was just there for dancing stunts not fighting stunts or action stunts or horse stunts.

        If you feel tricked because you heard people talking about how hard Natalie worked and how good they think she got, and you assumed that meant she did all the dancing, I say that’s your problem, not anyone’s at the production.

      • jk

        @ Chrisbee and racefan111: I did assume there was a dance double when I initially saw the movie, and then was surprised to hear the filmmakers and Portman’s boyfriend assert that she did 95% of the dancing. I didn’t make that number up, that’s the number Benjamin Millepied was quoted as giving, while another person at the film said 80% – much different than appears to be true. The issue, to me, is that the filmmakers deliberately lied to viewers and told them something that was completely untrue, all so that Portman would win an Oscar (which she probably wouldn’t have if her campaign hadn’t rested almost solely on her transformation into a ballerina. So just because you didn’t hear all of the comments regarding Portman’s performance, don’t assume I’m in the same boat as you.

      • DiMi

        I’m on Team Real Ballerina. This is about fraud, and it IS a story.

        This would be a non-issue if everybody had just told the truth about Natalie’s dancing, but they lied and exaggerated in order to get those awards. But they DID lie – as anybody who knows anything about dance could see while watching the film – and that’s why people care. I don’t like being lied to.

    • thin

      Seriously. It’s a load of crap that she’s acting like it’s about ballet at this point. It stopped being about the “principle of ballet” a long time ago.

    • Lucky

      There are some great comments to read here. Like them. Hate them. At least people care about something. That doesn’t happen much anymore.

      • andy

        not really…we’re just sick of self-absorbed nobodies trying to milk their 15 minutes of fame by whining about not getting enough credit

      • gump

        which one?

  • Stacey

    Oh my god. Can’t she shut up and leave it alone. She signed on for a role that had no glory; to be a body double. Claiming more is stupid. Way to burn any bridges in show business if you want to work in a dance film again. She is out to any fame possible. Anyone knew that Natalie didn’t do all the dancing. She even admits she had help. But I bet she did a lot more than this dancer is saying. This dancer is annoying now.. She may have had a case in the beginning, but she’s taken it too far. And since there was another dancer helping out Natalie. It wasn’t just this woman…

    • Lisa

      Amen…Put it to rest.

    • Dave


    • SteveStrifeX

      I understand why she’s trying to come out saying this. It’s an insult to ballerinas to say any celebrity can come in and work for (a few months? a year? I don’t remember) and be just as good as anyone that worked their whole lives at it.

      • Dave

        No one said Natalie became as good as a ballerina who has trained her whole life. Natalie certainly didn’t say that and neither did anyone else. It’s called editing. You can edit certain shots of her dancing to make it seem like she is a better dancer than she actually is. Don’t know why this is so hard for people to understand.

      • SteveStrifeX

        No, I understand editing just fine. And I know that, with editing, you can make someone look like a good dancer. But my point is that the stories IMPLY that Portman did 80% of the dancing in the movie. They lead the public to believe that Natalie is this amazing dancer, when in reality it’s all cut and spliced together. Don’t get me wrong, Portman deserved the Oscar for her acting ability in Black Swan. We can discuss till we’re blue in the face, but before Lane came out it was implied that Natalie could dance as well as it looked in the movie.

      • Dave

        Natalie has said herself in interviews that she’s nowhere near the level of a prima ballerina. Yes she trained hard (and that should be noted), but if the public wants to take that to mean that she or the filmmakers are calling her a fantastic ballerina, well that’s the public’s fault for misconstruing it. The only thing they told the public was that Natalie trained very hard for the film, and that’s the truth. It’s not Natalie’s or the filmmakers’ fault that some of the public is dumb enough to not understand that movies are cut and spliced.

      • JJ

        ^Wrong. Natalie has not once come out and said that her dancing was done by a professional. There would be no controversy if she would have simply said “I was doubled for the more elaborate scenes because I am not world class ballerina.” But no, Natalie had to take credit for Sarah’s work. Anyone who has had someone take credit for your work can sympathize with Sarah.

      • Dave

        Don’t know what you’re talking about, JJ. I watched and read plenty of Natalie’s interviews leading up to the movie, and I remember her acknowledging she had two dance doubles that did the more complicated moves. She even specifically named Sarah Lane back in November or December, saying she did the more complicated pointe work.

      • @ JJ

        Um yeah you’re wrong. The debate is over how much of Sarah was used in the film and how much of that they are claiming was Portman. The producers and Natalie are not claiming that a stunt woman wasn’t used. Get your facts straight man.

      • @Dave

        Portman’s finace, the film’s choreographer Benjamin Millepied, has said that Portman became an excellent dancer with just a little training.
        In a LA Times interview:

        “Millepied spoke by phone about the unexpected strength of Portman’s dancing. ‘It was so believable, it was fantastic, that beautiful movement quality,’ he says.”
        “Although close-ups and CGI were used in ‘Black Swan,’ the film was able to feature long unbroken shots of dance because of Millepied’s choreographic sophistication. How did those dance scenes evoke a classical idiom in steps Portman could achieve? ‘By making things fluid and not too complicated,’ he explains.”

      • Sara

        Dave, I agree with you. Natalie did do most of the dancing and editing helped her look even more believable as a dancer. People don’t realize that the close ups shots were part of the dancing. She probably wasn’t on her toes like a real ballerina, but she was still dancing! One can obviously tell when Sarah is being used (for example the complicated spins scenes).

      • A-K87

        It’s PR. Surely she should’ve known that the film-makers would spin it that way. This is Entertainment, mate.

      • Obvious

        As far as I’m concerned it should be COMPLETELY OBVIOUS that Natalie had a dance double. I watched the movie knowing she had a dance double. Ballet is a very intense art form and Natalie did state in numerous interviews how she wasn’t near star status. Anytime they just showed feet? Not Natalie, Long distance shots? Not Natalie. Why should this be a surprise? I’m annoyed.

    • @Stacey

      Lane wasn’t a “body double.” A body double is when someone’s body or parts of their body are used in place of the star. Mostly body doubles are used for nude scenes, or when a performer has ugly hands or feet, etc.
      Lane performed as a professional dancer in place of Portman. That is far more than a body double does. The fact that they credited Lane as a body double shows that they were attempting to hide the fact that Portman didn’t do all the dancing.

      • Chrisbee

        They didn’t credit her as a body double. They credited her as Natalie’s Stunt Double. Unless the credits are listed significantly different in the movie than they are in imdb.

      • RMS

        Lane shouldn’t have accepted the contract if she was unhappy with the designation. For all intents and purposes, she was a stunt double for Natalie.

      • @Chrisbee

        That’s been a change on IMDB. She wasn’t listed that wasy before. IMDB also lists Lane as Portman’s dance double, and I know she wasn’t listed that way in the film.
        I’ll have to look at the credits on my dvd.

    • Katya

      I disagree. I saw Black Swan and thought it was amazing, but I actually DID wonder who did all the dancing? I figured a stunt double, but when everyone said NP did 95% and that she was world class, I was seriously confused. It makes no sense! I can’t say Lane is handling it fantastically, but the situation isn’t really fair.

      • ivy

        I agree with you. As a parent of two girls who have studied ballet for years, I know how many hours of training it takes to be an even semi-good ballet dancer. To have it glossed over or lied about, the way the producers of Black Swan did, is insulting to ballet dancers. Ballet is truly one of the most difficult art forms and in a fair world, Sarah’s skill should have been acknowledged by both Natalie and the producers. They would have been the better people for it. As it stands, they just look bad.

    • Karyn

      Anyone with 1/2 a brain knows that there are a TON of people “behind the scenes” that make things appear to be “real” when they are not. Lighting, body doubles, dance doubles – I don’t think people really even CARED if she did the ballet or not – I was impressed that she could do ANY of the ballet – but figured she probably didn’t do any of the pointe work. Part of the “mirage” of film is that the people behind the scenes stay “behind” – I don’t want to hear this woman complain anymore. You had a job to do – you did it. If you wanted to be the one getting all the attention you should have auditioned for Natalie’s part. I am betting that Natlie DANCES a lot better than Sara ACTS

  • Chris

    Yeah…saw the ad for this. I’m on her side as this is clearly a case of David vs. Goliath. And I wish her luck

    • ajay

      She was paid to do a job and that’s it. Perhaps she should’ve taken acting lessons instead of dance lessons if she wanted to star in a movie. You know what….now that I think about it I want my money back from Spider-man. I bet that SOB Tobey Maguire can’t even shoot webs from his wrists. They lied to me!

      • shondel

        lmao @ajay

      • Gaby

        I want MY money back from Superman!

      • @Ajay


      • LOL

        Good one ajay.

      • gump

        nobody asked you aj

    • Bob

      Yeah. She has a lot in common with David.

  • Eshia

    So much time has gone by. I wonder why 20/20 is bothering with this “story” at all. I don’t think its necessary for a sit-down interview, she’s done a load of off-camera interviews.

    • Zach

      Weak news week?

    • lisa

      They just erased my reply..guess I was spot on lol

  • Zach

    What is she looking for, anyway? A credit alongside Natalie as the actual character? Marni Nixon never got that when she dubbed the singing voices of Deborah Kerr in The Sound of Music, Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. I hate to make a value judgment that the singing voices for those performances was more directly tied to the character than this woman’s dancing was to Black Swan, but if anything, it’s easier to separate in the latter case. But Aronofsky IS being a douche about it. The part where you see Natalie doing the big spins at the end is obviously the double, and that was all one shot. It’s not about how few shots she was in, but how much screentime she had, period.

    • Zoe

      Did u mean the king and I for Deborah Kerr?

    • @Zach

      I think Lane just wants them to admit that Portman didn’t become a great dancer in such a short time. She seems to want them to admit that it takes years of hard work to become a professional. She says it’s an insult to everyone in her profession to say, or even imply, that someone can become a great dancer with little training.

  • Carrie

    I agree almost entirely with Sarah Lane. Nothing nice has been said about the dance doubles, and YES stunt doubles don’t get any credit typically, but thats because stars don’t pretend like they did all the work. The movie is no less amazing, and Natalie is no less deserving of the Oscar because Sarah did most of the dancing. She didnt get the oscar because ‘wow she trained really hard,’ she got it for the ACTING. She should let Sarah Lane have her moment, and so should Aronofsky. Makes me a bit sick to know that I’m going into the Hollywood business soon. I hope I don’t take an entire art form for granted. Aronofsky should take his head out of his ass.

    • sidsy

      Sarah Lane isn’t trying to have her own moment, she’s trying to tear down someone else. And the argument that somehow ballet has been disrespected is COMPLETELY INSANE. Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen the film, but Black Swan is all about the incredible superhuman effort it takes to become a ballerina, effort so intense that the heroine you know…goes insane and dies. No one who has anything to with Black Swan has done anything but exalt ballet. GET OVER IT.

      • @sidsy

        I disagree. Lane isn’t tearing down Portman’s moment. She’s speaking out because Portman’s moment has disrespected all professional ballet dancers, when it didn’t have to. Admitting Lane’s true contribution to the film wouldn’t have taken away from Portman’s performance. BTW, the very fact that Millepied and Aronofsky keep promoting the idea that Portman became a great dancer with little work, undermines the very plot of the film. That doesn’t “exalt ballet” but simply exalts Portman.

        Just because someone has a different opinion than you doesn’t mean they’re “comletely insane.” Your opinion isn’t the final judgement on the issue, nor would everyone agree that it’s the correct judgement on the issue.

      • sidsy

        I have to disagree with the notion that Natalie training for a year to be able to believably play a ballerina disrespects ballet. Her physical transformation was impressive, including the dancing that she did do, and she deserves credit for it. No one ever promoted the idea that Natalie Portman became a ballerina in a year and a half, they promoted the truth that she trained like an athlete and showed impressive ability. Enough to shoot a movie. No one has ever said that Natalie could go dance the nutcracker.

      • Johnelle

        I found just what I was needed, and it was entreatining!

    • Jerry

      LOL….Natalie can’t act worth sh!t. She’ll be forgotten just as quick as past award winner Marisa Tomei.

      • Dave

        Marisa Tomei was forgotten after she won an Oscar? Really? I guess I was confused since she received two more nominations since her win, one of those nominations just a couple years ago. But whatever you say, Jerry.

      • alex

        Ooo burn!

      • ryker1

        Jerry, you’re a fool.

      • m1

        Right, which is why Tomei was just recently in The Lincoln Lawyer, has received two Oscar nominations since, and is starring in a Steve Carrell film this summer.

      • dashrendar44

        Natalie Portman won’t be forgotten in Hollywood cause she’s Jewish…

      • Bender

        Now you guys are getting nasty

    • N

      Agree completely. Natalie should simply acknowledge that she used a dance double for some of the more elaborate scenes, but she couldn’t even do that!

      • Dave

        Wrong. She did acknowledge it months ago, even before the movie was released. Even specifically named Sarah Lane.

      • @Dave

        But Portman’s fiance has downplayed Lane’s involvement.

      • Dave

        I don’t care about what her fiance said. I’m just refuting this preposterous claim that some people are making that Natalie never acknowledged the use of a dance double, when she in fact did acknowledge Sarah Lane several months ago.

      • Maggie

        Portman’s fiance, Millepied, was the one who started this whole thing by claiming that Portman became a great dancer in a year. Maybe Portman should tell him to shut up. But since she’s failed to thank Lane while winning all those awards, maybe Millepied is doing what Portman wants him to do.

      • Rachel

        Natalie didn’t thank Sarah in her acceptances speeches but she sure as hell talked about Sarah in some of her interviews. So yes, Natalie acknowledged Sarah.

      • andy

        …or maybe this whining attention seeker is simply lying

      • marco

        Natalie shouldn’t say a word. She should just sit back and watch the “little ballet dancer” impload.

    • Caren

      I honestly think she got the Oscar because of the dancing too. The acting wasn’t enough! Maybe Portman should start dancing as a prima ballerina if she got so good so fast. I think that’s a big part of the issue. That someone could get that good that quickly.

  • Ash

    She is a complete biaatch

  • J

    is she trying to never work in hollywood again?

    • Bob

      If she is, she’s doing a good job.

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    • Anna

      How often do you see ballet movies in theaters? I doubt she cares about hollywood because she basically has nothing to lose in calling them out. Oh no! she spoke out and now she won’t get any roles playing someone’s hands and legs without being acknowledged.

      • jodipo

        uh, obvioulsy she DOES care about hollywood or she wouldn’t be doing this now would she

      • ryker1

        She couldn’t care less about Hollywood. She just cares about her little ego. She’s well-known as a publicity w****, and people are figuring out she’s also just a nut.

      • @jodipo

        Lane cares about dance. She doesn’t like that Hollywood has disrespected ballet by promoting Portman as becoming a great dancer.

    • Larry

      She doesn’t work in Hollywood dumbass. If anything, it will lead to her getting more work from people in her industry because she is publicly standing up for her profession.

      • Michelle

        No, she’s a sad little person who doesn’t understand what they hired her for.

      • Beau

        She’s literally making a fool of herself.

      • Larry

        If you are a professional artist; don’t work for Hollywood.

    • Skip182

      How about “is she trying to never get work again period?” She’s trashing a huge hollywood actress and acting like a little b****. That doesn’t just effect hollywood casting agents, it’s going to effect her entire image, even in the dance community. She’s kind of the face of ballerina at the moment (due to her repeated appearances in the media), and she’s acting like one of those girls on My Super Sweet 16. It’s pretty sad to watch.

      • @Skip182

        Lane is a HERO in the dance community for standing up against the notion that ballet is so easy that Portman could dance like a professional in such a short time.

      • claude22

        Wanna bet?

      • Benita

        Since I’m sure all of her performances at Lincoln Center will be sold out, she doesn’t need Hollywood to mark her place in the dance world.

      • Larry

        Boom! Roasted.

      • Linda

        Hey Skip, google “effect v. affect”…you are using the word effect incorrectly and it’s rather annoying.

      • Lisa L.

        Seriously- Natalie Portman does not deserve to be worshipped if she is a “huge Hollywood actress” with money and connections. She looks bad for her part in this. Wrong is wrong no matter who you are. I ‘m glad Sarah Lane was not intimidated or too star struck to meekly go along with deceit.

  • ashley

    she says “you know” alot!

    • Meier

      Like, I KNOW, right? For realz…

  • Rachel

    I counted 19 “you know”s in this clip! ANNOYING!

    • K

      Eh, she’s not a public speaker. She performs with her body only. And she’s in a possibly stressful situation, being interviewed on TV and all that. Regardless of whether or not I side with this girl in this dance debate thing, I’m willing to cut her some slack on her ineloquent speech. I’d stumble all over myself too if I were placed in a public speaking situation. (And before anyone tries to argue this, I know she didn’t HAVE to do it; that’s not my point.)

  • Dave

    This really needs to end. It’s getting very annoying now. Girl needs to give it a rest.

    • connie

      thank you!

  • deedeedragons

    Hollywood chews people up! Get over it & move on.

  • pam

    she’s a fool. she was hired to work as a double, period. yes, she is intending never to be hired for double work again. she probably wants a reality show. she is a terrible public speaker.

    • Anna

      I agree. How could she do something that would keep her from the glamorous work of being someone’s body double? She has trained for most of her life to be a dancer, but she is foolish for giving up the opportunity to be basically an extra in a movie just so she can speak her mind.

      • KK

        Anna, you seem to be someone who wants to convince other people to change their opinion. It won’t happen. Please let it go. Everyone here has a right to their opinions, and it’s silly for you to keep trying to change them when this is really NOT AN IMPORTANT ISSUE.

      • marcus

        Yeah, I’d like to slap the s*** outta this disgusting little prima donna, and shut her the hell up.

      • Anna @ KK

        Last time I checked, I live in a free country and I am allowed to give my own opinion as I see fit even if it contradicts the popular opinion. The only reason you may feel I am trying to convince people to change their opinion is because my opinion makes a lot of sense. At then end of the day it is just an opinion, the same way you gave yours. I think this whole dance double thing is a non-isssue as a whole, but the notion that she is losing something important by speaking out is illogical to me and I will continue to voice my opinions regardless of what anyone thinks about them.

      • BIGboo

        @marcus – Yes, I’d like to slap Natalie and that whinny husband of hers too.

    • Beau

      Yes, Sarah Lane is so full of vindictiveness, she doesn’t seem to realize how big of a fool she is making of herself.

      • BIGboo


    • @pam

      Lane wasn’t a “body double.” Those people are stand-ins when an actor won’t do a nude scene. Portman used a real body double for a nude scene in “Your Highness.”
      Lane was hired to be a dance double, which is a professional skill. She wasn’t given the proper billing in the credits. This kind of failure to acknowledge someone’s professional skill ended about 4 decades ago, after a number of high profile performers all had their singing voices dubbed by Marni Nixon without acknowledgement.

  • Allan Trimple

    She must have started ballet as a very, very young girl because she looks and talks like a little child whose maturity was stunted somehow. Does ballet do that to you?

    • Kelly Pratt

      No, that is just her voice. That isn’t something “typical” of ballet dancers or their training, or anything. She is fairly young (20’s?). Some people just have voices like that.

      • jodipo

        some people have voiced that make them speak as if they were 12?

      • silentj

        But, y’know, when you, y’know, say y’know after everything you say, y’know, it kind of undercuts your credibility, y’know?

      • BIGboo

        No, not at all slentj. It only shows how naive and young she is. The Hollywood engine of actors, directors and producers has tried to first silence, then run a smear campaign against her. Nice to see that despite the David vs Goliath nature of the fight, Sarah still has fight in her. The fact that Natalie Portman doesn’t address this issue – but lets her husband run off at the mouth on it – does say quite a lot about Natalie’s lack of credibility though.

      • Enoch

        Why does that impugn Natalie Portman because he husband speaks about it while she does not? Just a ridiculous assumption. Is there a need for her to speak about it? I certainly don’t think so. Does she control her husband? Again, I don’t think so. So assuming that she lacks credibility says more about you and your assumptions than it does about Ms. Portman.

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