But his funniest, most interesting words are about Mila Kunis:
“Mila, and I mean this in the best way, she is such a loud-mouthed kind of broad. You know exactly where you stand with her, if she’s not happy with something. All she wanted to do is smoke cigarettes and drink coffee, where it was like, “Come on Mila, we’ve got to work!” And Natalie was like completely the opposite, in a way. She never complained once…
“Mila was the further behind in terms of training. She’s not — she doesn’t have a really good sense of her body, she’s not really a dancer or whatever.”
It’s funny, but I know exactly what he means about not having a good sense of your body… something I never knew about myself until I started trying to to dance.
Anyway, this is from an interview in Front Row Magazine, by Peter Simek, with Kurt Froman (former NYCB dancer- turned – Movin’ Out lead dancer and choreographer for Billy Elliot on Broadway.) Apparently, the interview with Froman was originally published around the time the movie came out, but these excerpts didn’t make the final cut. Simek decided to publish them now in light of the current who danced what controversy. Btw, you all probably already know this, but Sarah Lane gave an interview to 20/20 about said issue. Froman gave the interview a long time ago, without knowledge that this would become a controversy, so it has the air of truth. Scroll down to the bottom to read exactly what he said about Portman.
But I also find it really interesting what he said about training Kunis. At least at the beginning, their intention was to make her like a real Odile – marked by virtuosity. Froman choreographed while Millepied was busy with a prior commitment and that’s what he was trying to go for with Kunis – to make her as believable as a virtuoso as possible. But then when Millepied returned, he changed everything, making Kunis’s character more about her sex appeal, and her sexual comfort level with herself (as opposed to Odette / Portman’s lack thereof). So then they added things like Kunis’s dancing with her hair down, being so comfortable with herself that she didn’t care about messing up, etc., and they took out the virtuosity. This, he said, was okay because it went along far better with what Aronofsky wanted than what Froman had been trying to train her to do. I just find that interesting, because that was one of the parts of the film where I had the hardest time suspending disbelief – that the company director would seriously consider replacing the lead with a seemingly ditzy girl who thought it was funny when she couldn’t do a series of turns without nearly falling over. Of course everyone keeps pointing out that the movie wasn’t about dance but about sexuality, madness, etc. And they’re right. It’s just interesting to me that initially the film seemed to be a little more about the actual ballet than it ended up. Makes me wonder if things were changed after everyone realized how impossible it was to make a couple of very good actresses believable as high-level ballerinas.
Sorry this is all I’ve been blogging about lately! It’s definitely not all I care about. But I’ve returned to practicing law and so am now trying to juggle three things: my job, my book, and this blog. I apologize if it’s slow going from time to time. I definitely plan to cover as much NYCB and ABT as I can this summer!