Black Swan 20/20 Interview: Portman dance double speaks out

Apr 17, 2011, 08:40 by Nina Sen

The prima ballerina used as a dance double for Natalie Portman in the movie 'Black Swan' said she did most of the legwork.

Sarah Lane, a soloist with the American Ballet Theater, said in a 20/20 interview that she was told to keep quiet about her part in the movie by a producer. And, she says producers were trying to make it seem as if Portman became a ballerina within a year.

"They're trying to create this image - this facade really - that Natalie had done something extraordinary, something that's pretty much impossible," she said in the interview.

Lane, says she did all of the legwork and full-body dancing shots. However, director Darren Aronofsky stated that Natalie did about 80 percent of the dance shots in the movie.

"I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that's 80 percent Natalie Portman," he said last month in a statement released by Fox Searchlight Studios.

Lane responded in the 20/20 interview by stating close-ups were not dance shots. The studio has said they used face replacement technology to put Portman's face over Lane's body in the movie.

Lane said Portman deserves the Oscar and did an amazing job acting in the film. However, she says producers are making it seem as if decades of hard work by ballerinas can be learned in a year.

"I'm speaking because [the filmmakers] are completely lying about the amount of dancing Natalie did in the movie," Lane said. When those incorrect things are coming out, and they threaten the entire principle of ballet, then I feel like I need to say something."