Natalie Portman dropped 20 lbs for the highly-anticipated role of Black Swan’s ballerina Nina Sayers whose “sanity crumbles” under “psychological pressure” as she seeks perfection and happiness as a dancer. The actress endured five-eight hours of rigorous training a day, including ballet, cross-training, toning and swimming.
Natalie’s portrayal as Nina is described as a “brilliant performance,” yet intensive work outs and drastic weight loss were an integral part of the role. Black Swan’s director Darren Aronofsky told Access Hollywood, “At a certain point, I looked at [Natalie's] back, and she was so skinny and so cut. I was like, ‘Natalie, start eating.’ I made sure she had a bunch of food in her trailer.”
Described as Natalie’s Oscar-worthy role of a lifetime, which was 10 years in the making, the Black Swan character was pursued by Natalie with physical intensity – practically, “physical punishment.”
“I think it was just the physicality of it all that was the most extreme,” she told UsMagazine.com. “I mean, I had never gotten that much training — to be doing five-to-eight hours a day of [it] was really a challenge. It’s always one of those things where, when you put in a lot, you get out a lot.”
Once filming was finished, Natalie said that she immediately quit working out and loaded up on carbs.
“I was like, pasta, pasta, pasta! No working out,” Natalie told Access Hollywood. “It was pretty immediate. I was ready to leave the ballet life. I was like, ‘Please don’t let there be reshoots… because I don’t think I could get back into the costumes!’”
Black Swan opens today. Natalie described the thriller to ABC News during an interview as a “conversation piece” and it will “leave you with a lot to talk about.”