Natalie Portman Thought ‘Black Swan’ Was Going to Be a Docudrama, Admits She Was ‘Completely Surprised’ by the Final Cut

"It was an amazing wake-up call that film is a director's medium," Portman told Vanity Fair about watching Darren Aronofsky's horror-thriller.
"Black Swan"
"Black Swan"

Natalie Portman’s transformative performance in “Black Swan” won her the Oscar for Best Actress, but the finished movie is not anything like what she thought she was making during filming with director Darren Aronofsky and cinematographer Matthew Libatique. The actress revealed in a recent video interview with Vanity Fair the “Black Swan” theatrical cut shocked her, mainly because Aronofsky never led her to believe they were making something along the lines of a horror psychodrama.

“When I saw the final cut I was completely surprised by what the movie was like. I thought we were shooting something like almost documentary style, and then I watched it and it was an over the top thriller,” Portman said. “It was an amazing wake-up call that film is a director’s medium and as an actor you have no idea what’s going on and you’re being led and shaped.”

Portman wasn’t mad at all about how “Black Swan” turned out, and years later she still looks back on the production with fond memories. “It was an incredible experience for so many reasons,” she said. “I had always loved dance so much. It is the art I am most moved by, that expresses things that can’t be expressed by other media. It took 10 years for it to come together.”

“Darren was a great collaborator,” Portman continued. “Darren was genuinely interested in my point of view and my input. It felt like a partnership.”

“Black Swan” marked Portman’s second career Oscar nomination, following a Best Supporting Actress nom for “Closer” in 2005. Since the Aronofsky project, Portman has gone on to earn another Best Actress nomination for “Jackie” in 2017. The actress is returning to Oscar season next month with her acclaimed role as a spiraling pop star in Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux,” opening in select theaters December 7. Portman is being campaigned by distributor Neon in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Watch Portman’s Vanity Fair interview in the video embed below.

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