Natalie Portman thinks ballet shoes "feel medieval". The 29-year-old actress portrays Nina, a ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller Black Swan. The film that recounts the fragile relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and her latest rival [Mila Kunis].
Portman had to master the art of ballet for the film, and although she had trained in classical dance as a youngster, she found wearing point shoes for the film particularly painful comparing them to the torture devices used in medieval times. "I was so happy to stop wearing those point shoes," she recalled. "Point shoes are torture devices. I mean, ballerinas get used to it and so it was definitely a case of it being a new experience for me, but they feel very medieval." Portman has received plenty of critical acclaim for her role as Nina Sayers/ The Swan Queen in the film, and rumours have been circulating that she may receive an Oscar nomination. Portman was not alone is her physical challenges. Kunis told E! News that after the conditioning and training she underwent for her role in the film, she dropped down to 95 lbs. It not only changed her body dramatically but also affected her perception of beauty. "...at 95 pounds, I would literally look at myself in the mirror and I was like, 'Oh my God'," "All you saw was bone. I was like, This looks gross."
The actress trained for three months prior to the filming the movie to learn ballet for the role and called ballet "the most excruciating sports that I've ever been a part of." "I say sports because they train constantly, every single day. Your body changes. Your shoulders drop, your chest opens up and there's a certain posture that I don't naturally have because I slouch. So, for three months, I had to constantly stand up straight," she told Collider. "And the way that they hold their arms, because they're always moving their fingers while they're dancing, also changes the way that they talk in real life. And the feet are different because of the ballet shoes. There are a lot of little things."
Black Swan opens December 3rd.