Black Swan Director: Natalie Portman Did "80 Percent" of Dancing

Entertainment Mar. 28, 2011 AT 4:14PM
Black Swan Director: Natalie Portman Did "80 Percent" of Dancing Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

Dancing Defense.

Last Friday Natalie Portman's Black Swan dance double, Sarah Lane, caused a ballerina brew-ha-ha when she told Entertainment Weekly that Portman, who won an Oscar for the role, did only 5 percent of full body shots in the film.

Now the flick's director Darren Aronofsky is speaking out on behalf of the 29-year-old No Strings Attached actress.

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"I had my editor count. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane," he told EW in a statement. "If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie."

Aronofsky went on to praise the effort Portman, who's currently expecting her first child with fiance Benjamin Millipied, put into the performance.

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"And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes," continued the director. "I am responding to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don't want anyone to think that's not her they are watching. It is."

Lane, who was credited in the film as "Hand Model", "Stunt Double", and the walk-on role "Lady in the Lane", claims she was discouraged from talking about her work in the movie during Award season.

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"They wanted to create this idea that Natalie was some kind of prodigy and worked so hard to make herself a ballerina in a year and a half, basically because of the Oscar," said Lane. "It is demeaning to the profession and not just to me. I've been doing this for 22 years. Can you become a concert pianist in a year and a half, even if you're a movie star?"

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