Entertainment Weekly has the details:
Working out eight hours at a time. Swimming a mile a day. Dancing despite bruised feet, aching muscles, and a displaced rib. Natalie Portman didn’t take the easy road in preparing to play ambitious ballerina Nina Sayers in Black Swan. But the 29-year-old actress says there was no other option. â€œSo many of the emotional scenes happen while she’s dancing that there was no real way of getting around it,â€ explains Portman, whose character suffers a mind-bending nervous breakdown while rehearsing to dance the lead in a glitzy production of Swan Lake.
Although Portman did use a double for some of the more complicated choreography, she still had to look the part of a ballerina.
Portman says that not eating – or, rather, eating very little – is an essential part of a dancer’s lifestyle. â€œI’m a very short person, and you’re supposed to look very long,â€ she explains. â€œAnd you don’t have the bulk on you – which is, like, sick. The whole thing, I’m aware that it’s sick.â€
â€¦For the record, not all of Portman got smaller while training. â€œDancers, even when they’re really frailly skinny, have a very strong butt. So Mary Helen [former New York City Ballet company member Mary Helen Bowers] did a lot of work on my butt,â€ she giggles. The result? â€œDefinitely a huge, huge, umâ€¦change.â€
Mila Kunis recently shared her side of the story – check this post!