Benjamin Millepied Defends Natalie Portman Over Dance Criticism
Natalie Portman's choreographer fiancé Benjamin Millepied has leaped to the actress' defense over allegations she relied heavily on a dance double to film Black Swan, insisting "85 per cent" of the work was done by his bride-to-be.
Portman underwent a year of intensive training to play a prima ballerina in the film, a role which won her an Oscar in February, but she came under fire from critics who claimed her double, American Ballet Theatre dancer Sarah Lane, was the real star of the show.
However, the French dancer, who choreographed the film's sequences, is adamant Portman deserves plenty of credit.
Speaking about the actress' performance, Millepied tells the Los Angeles Times, "It was so believable, it was fantastic, that beautiful movement quality. There are articles now talking about her dance double that are making it sound like (Lane) did a lot of the work, but really, she just did the footwork, and the fouettes, and one diagonal (move) in the studio. Honestly, 85 per cent of that movie is Natalie."
And Millepied, who is expecting a baby with the actress, admits he choreographed easier routines that Portman could achieve.
He adds, "(I made) things fluid and not too complicated. By getting more movement going, which in turn added to the camera movement - that is basically what I did. If we had kept things more classical, more restrained, less fluid, it would have been harder to trick the eye."