Trivia / Black Swan

  • Advertised Extra: Winona Ryder was prominently advertised for the movie. Beth has about four minutes of screen time.
  • Banned in China: The movie was temporarily banned in Barbados due to the lesbian sex scene between Nina and Lily, which censors saw as "offensive sexual behavior." Public protest and a petition against the ban got it overturned and the film was eventually released with an R-rating.
  • Career Resurrection: Provided one for Barbara Hershey. Her Oscar nominated performance as Erica saw her getting more roles, notably Insidious and in Once Upon a Time.
  • The Danza: Sergio Torrado as Sergio (the dancer playing Rothbart in the Swan Lake production).
  • Deleted Role: Mark Margolis appeared in the film as a favour to Darren Aronofsky, but his dialogue was cut.
  • Development Hell: The script was in development for ten years before it got made.
  • Doing It for the Art: Natalie Portman got formal ballet training for a year to prepare for the role. And she also paid for it out of her own pocket, as the film had not found investors yet. She hadn't even received an official script when she began the training. Also when she injured herself, the budget couldn't afford a medic - so she told them to get rid of her trailer.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Portman and Kunis lost 20 pounds each to play ballet dancers. They also both learned ballet for months prior to shooting, 5 hours a day. This phenomenon, of course, is the entire point of the movie.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • In-story example. Thomas walks a dangerously thin line between sexually harassing and sexually assaulting Nina in an effort to teach her how to embody the role of the sensual Black Swan. Or maybe he's just a pervert.
    • Natalie Portman said that Aronofsky tried to create a rivalry between her and Mila Kunis, by keeping them apart and telling each that the other one is doing a better job.
  • Playing Against Type: Mila Kunis is more known for her comedic roles.
  • Playing with Character Type: Barbara Hershey as My Beloved Smother and Mama Bear at the same time.
  • Real-Life Relative: Mr. and Mrs. Stein are played by Abraham and Charlotte Aronofsky - Darren Aronofsky's parents.
  • Romance on the Set: Natalie Portman and the film's choreographer Benjamin Millepied. They're now married and have a child together. It became Hilarious in Hindsight as Benjamin Millepied is the guy Thomas asks if he would do Nina, Natalie's character. He answers no. Portman, heavily pregnant during her thank you speech at the Golden Globes, said: "He's the best actor! It's not true! He totally wants to sleep with me!"
  • Star-Making Role: While both Kunis and Portman were already renowned actresses before the film came out- the latter probably more so than the former- the film has almost certainly increased both their credentials as "serious" thespians. Portman even won an Oscar for her performance. Contrast this role with others that Portman shot before it but which were released after, such as Your Highness, for a marked illustration of this effect.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Summer Glau revealed at Emerald City Comicon 2012, that she had auditioned for a supporting role in this movie, but during the pre-production stages, the character was cut from the story.
    • This was originally going to be the story of The Wrestler too, with Cassidy being a ballerina. Aronofsky quickly realised the concept was too much for one movie and developed them separately.
    • Meryl Streep was considered to play the role of Erica.
    • Rachel Weisz, Parker Posey and Jennifer Connelly were all considered for the role of Beth - before it went to Winona Ryder.
  • Word of God: Darren Aronofsky confirmed that Nina does not die at the end, and that her bleeding is merely symbolic of her becoming a woman. Natalie Portman agrees with this statement; she had been uncomfortable with the positioning of the blood around Nina's stab wound, feeling it looked too much like menstrual blood. Aronofsky said it was intentional.

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