Natalie Portman’s ‘Swan’ baby (and its wings)

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So it looks like the Black Swan is getting a visit from the stork.

People magazine reported this morning that Natalie Portman, the star of the sexy ballet thriller, is pregnant and that the father is her on-set coach and trainer Benjamin Millepied, to whom the actress is also engaged. She has since confirmed the report.


The pregnancy, of course, wasn’t arranged by distributor Fox Searchlight (we hope), but the news could boost the film just the same. Portman’s movie is at this moment rolling out in a big way -- in fact, the art-house hit just nearly doubled its number of theaters as it tries to cross into the mainstream -- and having an actress in the news for a romance that began during the film’s production will likely only help it.

It won’t hurt, either, that there are some parallels between Portman’s real-life story and the story of her character, Nina Sayers. No, not the hallucinating-about-a-doppelganger part. But the movie is, after all, about the transformation of a young woman’s life and body while she pursues her career in the arts. Symmetry -- everyone loves it. (By the way, if you’re doing the math, the baby wasn’t conceived while they were actually shooting; production ended last winter.)

Portman is also set to start promoting her Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy ‘No Strings Attached,’ a title that, with today’s news, helps prove that there is a God, and that he has a sense of humor.

And let’s not even talk about that raunchy single-girl comedy she’s been shopping around.

Portman is a strong contender for the best actress Oscar for ‘Black Swan.’ We don’t know which seems harder: the physical training she went through for the movie, or slogging through awards season with a little cygnet on the way. Of course, a healthy pregnancy glow can really light up a red carpet, what with paparazzi and the tabloids’ penchant for gushing over celebs-with-child.

At the film’s L.A. premiere, Millepied discussed his on-set collaboration with Portman -- you can watch the video interview below. “I had to use the qualities—if Natalie used her head beautifully or if her arms were very good at a certain angle—I had to really find what those things were and use them and choreograph around them,” he said.

When we interviewed Portman in mid-November, she was not showing any signs of pregnancy. But she did allow that she hadn’t been feeling well. She said she had just recovered from a recent illness, which she said she suspected to be a case of food poisoning.

“I did a photo shoot, and I think it was whatever they served at lunch,” she explained, cautiously sipping from a bowl of vegetable broth. “I don’t even think I’m sick right now. I think I could probably eat anything, but I’m just like, an interview would not be the place to experiment.”

Portman also said at the interview that she had tried to conceal how ill she felt at the premiere the night before. “Yesterday, I was on the red carpet like, ‘Please don’t throw up.’ I went home after the red carpet last night and had a saltine and applesauce and was, like, asleep by 10.”

--Steven Zeitchik and Amy Kaufman


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