Director Darren Aronofsky directs friends in ‘Black Swan’

Black Swan director

So how do you direct two friends who are good friends? Director Darren Aronofsky employed a strategy to elicit strong performances by creating a real life rivalry between actresses Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.

"We were really great friends before production. We are really great friends now. And during production, we were working together," Kunis, 27, explained.

During the 42 day shoot, Aronofsky denied fueling a rivalry but said he distanced the actresses so that they couldn't discuss their respective acting approaches.

"I knew it might be really hard to keep them apart because they're friends, but I just didn't want them to know each other's motives," he said. "I didn't want them to compare notes. I wanted them to come from different places."

Aronofsky, the filmmaker behind "Requiem for a Dream" and the 2008 Mickey Rourke comeback picture " The Wrestler," struggled to make 'Black Swan' after several setbacks involving financing.  Despite the challenges, Portman began training five to eight hours a day with a ballet instructor. She spent time in barre class, swam a mile each day, did toning and muscle strengthening exercises and sharply reduced her calorie intake.


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