10 Things You Didn't Know... - February 15, 2017

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Black Swan
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Black Swan

Horror movies and Academy Awards aren’t the best of friends, in fact, back in 2010 Darron Aronofsky’s taut, chilling Black Swan became only the fifth horror movie in history to be nominated for Best Picture.

Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel and Winona Ryder, the film tells the story of Nina, an up and coming ballerina who wins the starring role in a new production of Swan Lake, a role that puts so much pressure on her that she begins to crack up.

Shot on a tiny budget, the film was a critical and commercial success, earning over $330 million at the box office and five Oscars, including Best Actress for Natalie Portman.

Now on offer as part of hmv’s awards campaign we thought we’d revisit and bring you 10 things you didn’t know about Black Swan…

 

It started life as a sequel to The Wrestler

Before he’d made either The Wrestler or Black Swan, Darron Aronofsky had originally envisioned a drama about a love affair between a wrestler and a ballerina. In the end, he decided to separate the two and they both became big hit movies in their own right.

 

And it had a very different title…

Black Swan started life when Aronofsky hired screenwriters to rework a screenplay called The Understudy, which was about off-Broadway actors and the idea of being haunted by a double. Over time, this would morph into Black Swan.

 

Darron Aronofsky first discussed the movie with Natalie Portman 10 years before it was released…

The director had been wanting to make a movie about a ballet dancer for some time and had discussed this with Portman, who he knew had been a dancer as a child, all the way back in 2000. Cameras wouldn’t roll for another nine years.

 

Natalie Portman’s commitment to the role was incredible, right from the start…

Before production started Portman began training as a dancer, she underwent a full year of lessons, all of which she paid for herself, began a frame was shot. There was no confirmation during most of that time that the film would be made, Portman just had faith it would be.

 

She dropped a lot of weight for the role too…

To make herself look and feel more like a ballerina, Portman dropped 20 pounds for the role, that included gains in muscle weight too. That’s commitment.

 

But gained a husband…

During the filming of Black Swan Portman worked closely with choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who worked out a lot of the dances and movement. A close professional relationship soon became a close personal one, the pair are now married and are currently expecting their second child.

 

And a lot of awards…

Oscar, BAFTA, Screen Actors’ Guild, Teen Choice Award, she won the lot. In the end, she’d collect 27 Best Actress awards for the role.

 

The budget was painfully tight…

Black Swan was made for $13 million, roughly half of what Aronofsky was planning for and so plenty of sacrifices had to be made.  During production Portman dislocated a rib during a lift and called the producer for help, she was told that the production could not afford an on-call medic. Portman stated that if they needed to cut items from the budget they could take away her trailer to hire a medic. The next day her trailer was gone. There you go.

 

Both Eva Green and Blake Lively were up for the role of Lily…

The Casino Royale star and The Shallows’ leading lady both came in to meet with Aronofsky for the role of Lily, the carefree rival to Nina, but neither were deemed right for the role.

 

But Mila Kunis didn’t actually audition...

Kunis, who was friends with Portman prior to the role, was suggested by her future co-star to Aronofsky as someone who could work in the film. Kunis and Aronofsky then had a video chat and the role was her’s.

 

Black Swan
Black Swan Darren Aronofsky

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