'Black Swan' Was Custom-Made For Natalie Portman

Darren Aronofsky explains the advantages of having a beautiful star portray 'uncertain ground and darkness.'

Director Darren Aronofsky's [movie id="437902"]"Black Swan"[/movie] doesn't hit theaters until December, but many of the moviegoers who were lucky enough to see the film on the festival circuit are already predicting Oscar nominations for lead actress Natalie Portman. As Aronofsky explains it, it's not difficult to understand why Portman's portrayal of troubled ballerina Nina Sayers is getting so much praise — after all, the role was constructed for Portman from the very beginning.

"Like the way we kind of knew that Mickey Rourke was going to be in 'The Wrestler' and we were able to construct the material for him, Natalie had been attached to the film for eight or nine years; so when we were thinking about it, we were thinking about Natalie," Aronofsky told MTV News about developing Portman's character. "First and foremost, we just wanted to make the character work and make sense of the character. Then Natalie, through her own work, was able to get to a place where she was able to play it."

Indeed, "Black Swan" buzz has been building for quite some time, thanks in large part to the electric chemistry between Portman and co-star Mila Kunis. But once upon a time, rumors floated around that Portman herself would portray both her own character and Kunis' — the same way that Odette and Odile are typically played by the same ballerina in "Swan Lake." And Aronofsky himself won't exactly deny that rumor.

"There were lots of different versions about what was going on," the director confessed. "It's been a long, long evolution."

In the end, Aronofsky believes that a mixture of ingredients helped to shape Portman's profound performance, not the least of which is the actress herself.

"Having a big movie star like Natalie Portman gets you a lot of advantages," he said. "People want to like her; she's very beautiful and very youthful. That helps when you start to move things towards uncertain ground and darkness."

Check out everything we've got on "Black Swan."

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