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Inside Natalie Portman’s Body Transformation for Black Swan

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While preparing for her role in the psychological thriller Black Swan, Natalie Portman shed 20 lbs off her petite 5'3" frame. "I had never gotten that much training – to be doing five-to-eight hours a day of [it] was really a challenge," Portman, 29, told on Monday.

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Under the guidance of former professional ballerina, Mary Helen Bowers, Portman trained for up to 8 hours a day with only one day off per week. "The goal was to create a very long, lean ballet-type body," Bowers, who developed the Ballet Beautiful classes, told Us at Tuesday night's premiere of Black Swan in NYC.

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Bowers supplemented ballet sessions with swimming, cross-training, and endurance exercises. "We combined swimming a mile a day with two hours worth of Ballet Beautiful exercises, toning, and resistance work. And another 3-plus hours of ballet class and point work."

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In order to find the time for the intense workouts, Portman had to start the program in the early hours of the day. "We were working at 5 in the morning for two or three hours, and she worked a 12 to 14-hour day on set," Bowers told Us.

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