Before Natalie Portman won this year’s Best Actress Oscar for “Black Swan,” much was made of the training she underwent to portray a world-class ballerina. Turns out she did not do all the fancy footwork that so wowed audiences. Two top-notch dancers — Kimberly Prosa and Sarah Lane — doubled for her in some of the most technical sequences.
As Prosa told Debra Levine of the Huffington Post, “Natalie took class, she studied for several months, from the waist up is her. Sarah Lane, a soloist at ABT, did the heavy tricks, she did the fouéttes (the quick body whip rounds), but they only had her for a limited time, a couple of weeks, so I did the rest of whatever dance shots they needed.”
The film’s choreorgrapher, Benjamin Millepied, downplayed this switcheroo to Jean Lenihan of the Los Angeles Times saying, “she (Lane) just did the footwork, and the fouettés, and one diagonal [phrase] in the studio. Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie.” Millipeid, now engaged to Portman who is expecting their first child this spring, didn’t make mention of the contribution of Prosa.
Would Portman have still won the Oscar had this fact been more widely-known? Vote in our poll to the right of this post.