Natalie Portman talks ‘extreme’ training and deeper meanings in ‘Black Swan’ Natalie Portman is earning rave reviews for her role as Nina, a passionate ballerina who gets a little too in touch with her dark side, in “Black Swan”, screening this week at the Venice Film Festival. Talking to reporters in Venice, Portman spoke candidly about “hyper-training” for the film and her racy sex scene with Mila Kunis.

According to Portman, director Darren Aronofsky pitched the scene in a rather unique way when he discussed the concept in a meeting with her eight years ago. “He described it as: ‘You’re going to have a sex scene with yourself.’ And I thought that was very interesting, because this movie is in so many ways an exploration of an artist’s ego and that narcissistic sort of attraction to yourself and also repulsion with yourself.”

The role required intense preparation. “Six months ahead of the film, I went into sort of hyper-training, where five hours a day I was doing both ballet and cross-training, with swimming,” says Portman. “A few months before was when we started getting into the choreography. It was very extreme.”

“Black Swan” hits theaters December 1.

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