Author Topic: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In  (Read 13466 times)

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Wonderflonium

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2011, 01:00:36 PM »
I think they went back & looked at the film & Natalie did 90-95% of the dancing that was shown in the film.  It seems like sour grapes & a publicity stunt by the stunt double.  I find it rude on the double's part, no one else.

The estimates I have heard varied, and the highest I've heard was 85%. That was from her fiance, so take it with a grain of salt.

For me, the difference is that when Natalie Wood played Maria, it was widely acknowledged that someone else did the singing. In this case, they are trying to deny that Sarah Lane did a good bit of dancing (and all of the difficult parts). Millipied (Portman's costar and fiance) actually said that Lane only did the diagonals and a few other things (can't find the article I read). That's not actually true.

So, I wouldn't have expected Portman to thank Lane under normal circumstances, but given that everyone is all but denying Lane's very existance, I think it would have been nice to give her props. Portman's acting was amazing, but the dancing was a big part of the role.
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Virg

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2011, 01:02:46 PM »
coffeebreak wrote:

"ETA: I don't buy the assertion that she did 80-90% of the dancing either. I just don't think it's possible - it takes YEARS just to go on pointe, how could she possibly have managed it in such a short time frame? It doesn't make sense."

Ms. Portman has listed dance as a hobby (including ballet) in biographical information from long before this movie was made, so the training for this movie was not the first exposure she's had to dance training.  I agree that she's never going to be a pro with this level of training but it's not odd that she'd be able to do more than someone coming into it cold.

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2011, 01:09:06 PM »
I've never seen an actor thank their stunt double.  Do you remember Flashdance?  Same exact thing happened then.

Jeff Bridges thanked his double (of 40 years) Loyd Catlett last year at the Globes.

I see a big difference between thanking a coworker of 40 years vs someone who did one piece of one movie.
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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2011, 01:10:27 PM »
How much interaction did Natalie Portman have with the dancer who was her double?

I dont think she was obligated to thank someone who didn't help with her significantly with her acting when she recieved an award for acting.
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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2011, 01:11:38 PM »

For me, the difference is that when Natalie Wood played Maria, it was widely acknowledged that someone else did the singing. In this case, they are trying to deny that Sarah Lane did a good bit of dancing (and all of the difficult parts). Millipied (Portman's costar and fiance) actually said that Lane only did the diagonals and a few other things (can't find the article I read). That's not actually true.

So, I wouldn't have expected Portman to thank Lane under normal circumstances, but given that everyone is all but denying Lane's very existance, I think it would have been nice to give her props. Portman's acting was amazing, but the dancing was a big part of the role.

That's what makes it uncomfortable; on the one hand people like her fiance are saying she did a great deal of the dancing while on the other hand asserting she won her awards for acting. If they didn't think the dancing didn't figure in somehow to the legitimacy of her performance, they wouldn't be so vigorously denying the dance double. Regardless of whether or not there is a coverup, the behavior of the producers and whatnot emits a foul odor.

But again, I don't think Portman was necessarily obliged to thank Lane in the acceptance speeches.

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2011, 01:12:24 PM »
The intro - the entire 85 seconds, including leaving on pointe - was done by Natalie, per the director.  http://perezhilton.com/2011-03-29-aronofsky-ends-portman-argument

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StressedGroom

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2011, 01:17:04 PM »
How much interaction did Natalie Portman have with the dancer who was her double?

I dont think she was obligated to thank someone who didn't help with her significantly with her acting when she recieved an award for acting.

This, given the number of takes and angles necessary to film the more complex dance sequences (I haven't seen the movie), I would think that Natalie Portman wouldn't be around when the double was doing most of the work.  The dancer had to know she would get little or no credit, I think its sour grapes.

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 01:21:16 PM »
How much interaction did Natalie Portman have with the dancer who was her double?

I dont think she was obligated to thank someone who didn't help with her significantly with her acting when she recieved an award for acting.

This, given the number of takes and angles necessary to film the more complex dance sequences (I haven't seen the movie), I would think that Natalie Portman wouldn't be around when the double was doing most of the work.  The dancer had to know she would get little or no credit, I think its sour grapes.

Well, she probably got exactly the billing and credit she negotiated for. If she wanted more, she should have thought about that before she signed the contract.

If dancers, singers, stunt doubles or body doubles want more recognition, they have to negotiate it and make sure it's in the contract. To rely on 'good faith' when you have no reason to expect it is a bit naive.

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2011, 01:22:20 PM »
coffeebreak wrote:

"ETA: I don't buy the assertion that she did 80-90% of the dancing either. I just don't think it's possible - it takes YEARS just to go on pointe, how could she possibly have managed it in such a short time frame? It doesn't make sense."

Ms. Portman has listed dance as a hobby (including ballet) in biographical information from long before this movie was made, so the training for this movie was not the first exposure she's had to dance training.  I agree that she's never going to be a pro with this level of training but it's not odd that she'd be able to do more than someone coming into it cold.

Virg

I was just coming in to say that... and I'll add....
Natalie also has the advantage of already having a "dancers" build so it isn't hard to believe she could be one. In fact, when I heard the movie was being made and she was cast, I didn't balk at all. It made perfect sense to me because she 'looks' like a dancer. Add that to the fact that she has had training in the past, I don't find it hard to believe that she was able to learn some of the more complicated moves and make them look believeable on film. She is never going to be a prima ballerina, but I don't doubt for a second that she was able to do the majority of the dancing. She's good enough an actor to be able to "sell" the illusion to me and that's all I care about when I see the movie. And if you really look at the shots, most of them are from the waist up or in position, or they were simple moves edited together to capture a moment on film. The ballet sequence was also filmed in segments not as a whole piece, so it's not hard to imagine that she was able to do most of it. 

I think this was the dancers way of capturing some noteriety for herself. And that she certainly did. Just not the kind you want. The double part being on her resume should have been enough for her to be honest. That would have opened a LOT of doors for her. She may have actually ended up hurting her dance career even more by doing this. She just gave herself the label of "troublemaker". 

How much interaction did Natalie Portman have with the dancer who was her double?

I dont think she was obligated to thank someone who didn't help with her significantly with her acting when she recieved an award for acting.

This, given the number of takes and angles necessary to film the more complex dance sequences (I haven't seen the movie), I would think that Natalie Portman wouldn't be around when the double was doing most of the work.  The dancer had to know she would get little or no credit, I think its sour grapes.

Yep and likely in the contract.

Sharnita

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2011, 01:22:55 PM »
Actually I would think not having to be around while all that is shot is an even bigger reason to thank her double.  I'm also wondering if the actress in Flashdance was nominated for major awards - that makes a difference to me too.  If you are getting major recognition for your performance in a ballet film then I think it seems more important to acknowledge your double than a movie that is extremely popular but not getting critical acclaim at that level.  I don't remember if Flashdance got the same recognition.

rose red

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2011, 01:25:54 PM »
I don't think they ever pretended Natalie did all her own dancing, especially the difficult stuff.  I doubt any of the audience was fooled either.  They even said they choreographed easy dance steps for her.

If Natalie was required to thank everyone who made her look good, she'll also have to thank those in lighting, make-up, costume, workout trainer, dietitian, cameraman, etc.  

eta: I also doubt she did one big dance number from beginning to end.  She probably did small chunks and they spliced them together.  I can believe she's able to do at least 80 percent and not just 5 percent that Sarah Lane has claimed.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 01:29:57 PM by rose red »

iradney

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 01:35:09 PM »
AFAIK, Natalie Portman did not deny in any interview that she had a body double dancer. The studio are the ones that told the dancer not to do any interviews, etc; not Natalie Portman.

And yes as PP's have said, she won the Oscar for her acting, not how well she could dance! I truly think that the dancer has sour grapes, and wants her 15 minutes of fame. Actors and actresses use body doubles and stuntmen in almost every movie, and you rarely hear them being thanked, or hear about them kicking up a fuss the way this stand in has.
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Sharnita

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 01:43:59 PM »
This reminds me of an interesting comment made almost 20 years ago.  The big thing was that a lot of actors were making a big deal about doing their own stunts.  Mel Gibson was in the movie Maverick (this was years before i saw anything that seemed strange or disturbing in his behavior). In an interview he was asked if he had done a particularly difficult stunt.  He immediately replied that he wouldn't risk his life and the lives of others trying to do something that professionals trained for.

Bibliophile

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2011, 01:54:54 PM »
However, should Portman have thanked the woman who did the actual physical work when she received her award?

Also, as to who did the "physical work" - I think Portman put enough time & effort into training to  have her work be considered "actual physical work"...  I read that she trained 5-8 hours a day, 6 days a week, for over a year... 

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Wonderflonium

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 02:26:50 PM »
The intro - the entire 85 seconds, including leaving on pointe - was done by Natalie, per the director.  http://perezhilton.com/2011-03-29-aronofsky-ends-portman-argument

Have you seen the film, though? The way the opening sequence is edited, there is a large margin of error for the dancer. There are lots of close ups and quick cuts.

I'm not denying that Portman danced and did a good job, but Lane did all of the difficult (and key) pieces, and it really bothers me that she's been told to shut up about it.
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