Sarah Lane: Does Natalie Portman’s body-double have a point?

This is Natalie Portman for sure. We think.

It’s the slow days of early spring in Hollywood, with awards season over and summer blockbusters interminable months away, everybody’s just looking for something to talk about. Behold, then, a something: we’ve apparently got a Black Swan-dal! (Truly very sorry for that one.)

Natalie Portman’s body double in last year’s "Black Swan" is speaking up, saying that she’s been the victim of a narrative that understates her contribution to the film in order to prop up a Natalie Portman, the film’s Oscar-winning star. Sarah Lane, of the American Ballet Company, tells Entertainment Weekly that she’s been the victim of a ‘cover-up.’

At issue is how much of the film’s dancing Lane was responsible for; Benjamin Millepied, the film’s choreographer (and Portman’s fiance) told the L.A. Times last week only 15% of the dance scenes were Lane, while Lane estimates that 95% of the film’s full-body ballet shots are her:

“They wanted to create this idea in people’s minds that Natalie was some kind of prodigy or so gifted in dance and really worked so hard to make herself a ballerina in a year and a half for the movie, basically because of the Oscar. It is demeaning to the profession and not just to me."

In order to maintain the narrative, Lane says, the film’s producers also told her to stop doing interviews during the run-up to the Oscars, and wiped away a PR reel that showed Portman’s face digitally replacing her own.

When it comes down to judging (everyone’s favorite part!), this is a fight where both sides lose, a little. For one thing, they seem to be talking past each other: Millepied says Portman did most of the film’s ballet full-stop, Lane says she did that vast majority of the ‘complicated’ dancing.

On the larger issues, Lane does deserve more credit than she seems to be getting from the "Black Swan" team, who seem to be pushing the narrative Portman’s precociousness a little too hard. But despite all Lane’s protestations that she thinks Portman’s an amazing actress and she’s not just out to promote herself, there’s something a little unseemly about her argument. How often do stunt doubles, or body doubles — or anyone else in Hollywood who does anonymous yeoman’s work — come out in public to ask for more credit? Until it turns out Portman used an acting double, we’re not sure how this takes anything away from her Oscar win.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…