"Black Swan" actress Mila Kunis joins the ranks of Natalie Portman defenders after dance-double Sarah Lane claimed that she did most of the fancy footwork in the movie.
"Natalie danced her a** off," Kunis told Entertainment Weekly. "I think it's unfortunate that this is coming out and taking attention away from [the praise] Natalie deserved and got. It was more like a safety net. If Nat wasn't able to do something, you'd have a safety net. The same thing that I had -- I had a double as a safety net. We all did. No one ever denied it."
Kunis, who co-starred with Portman in the movie, and "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky have come out in support of Portman, who won an Oscar for her performance.
"Here is the reality," Aronofsky said in a statement released Monday through studio Fox Searchlight. "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."
Aronofsky went on to talk about the amount of time both were on screen. "The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second," he said. "There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement [for]. Even so, if we were judging by time, over 90 percent would be Natalie Portman."
Lane, a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre, told Entertainment Weekly Friday that the public had been misled about how much twirling Portman did in the film. She told The Wall Street Journal that she made $6,000 for about six weeks of work. The move has grossed $281.6 million worldwide.
"On the full-body shots, I would say 5 percent are Natalie," Lane said. "I mean, from a professional dancer's standpoint, she doesn't look like a professional ballet dancer at all and she can't dance in pointe shoes. And she can't move her body. She's very stiff."
Aronofsky took issue with Lane's comment on pointe shoes.
"To be clear, Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes," the director said of the classical ballet technique calling for dancers to stay on the tips of their toes. "If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic."
Lane's comments were in response to an interview that Portman's fiance and choreographer Benjamin Millepied gave to the Los Angeles Times.
"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 [whipping movements], and one diagonal in the studio," Millepied said. "Honestly, 85 percent of that movie was Natalie."
Portman has kept quiet since the war of words began last week, although she was candid about using a dance-double for the complicated routines in interviews before the Oscars.
Aronofsky, however, decided to speak up.
"I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor," he said. "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."