As their twisted friendship turns into an intense rivalry, Nina becomes engulfed in the dark side that she finds so sensuous and appealing in Lily. Check out what she had to say after the jump: Since this is a different type of role for you, what was the casting process like?
I never really asked. I thank Darren every day for it. Every time that I went to see ballet, it was always a fragment of it, so I was never able to see it in its full length.
How did you appear so effortless and sensual, when you were not a ballet dancer prior to this? It was far from effortless or sensual. It was three months of training beforehand. I was not a ballet dancer. You can only fake so much physicality, so you have to immerse yourself in this world, in the way that somebody walks, talks and handles themselves. So, it was three months of training, seven days a week, four or five hours a day, before production started, and then during production it was pretty much exactly the same.
What surprised you most about ballet? I say sports because they train constantly, every single day. So, for three months, I had to constantly stand up straight. And the feet are different because of the ballet shoes. There are a lot of little things. In playing this role, did you always have to keep it in the back of your mind, when your character was actually there and when she was just a delusion?
However she would do it, I would do it the opposite. It was all so finicky that you just tried to give as much as you could in every single take, and every single take was completely different. There was nothing continuous. What was your experience working with Darren Aronofsky? Working with Darren was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I always looked at Darren as a safety net, and he was absolutely great. Can you talk about doing the same sex love scene in this film?
Was that your first? I did a film, called After Sex, with Zoe Saldana, where she played my girlfriend, but we never had a sex scene. So, this would be my first. Did you and Natalie have any discussions, prior to doing your love scene, to make things more comfortable? The great thing about this is that Natalie and I were actually lucky enough to be friends prior to production, which made it all a lot easier. We just kind of did it. It made sense for the character.
The truth of the matter is that we were friends before we started the film, so that made it a lot easier. Doing something like that, do you ever worry about being exploited by the filmmaker? Doing something like this with Darren was very safe and as comfortable as something like this could be.
Personally, I never had a fear of being exploited. Have you ever done a role where you just wanted to be perfect? But, I think that striving to do something well is in every single part. You want to be honest with a character and play it truthfully, and you want to be genuine with your character. Have you seen the quest for perfection take its toll on some of your peers, either artistically or physically? Sadly, in any industry and in any work-related environment, females always strive to achieve a certain amount of perfection, whether that be skinny or pretty.
How relieved were you when this film was over, so that you could just go pig out on food? You have no idea! It took me five months to lose 20 pounds, and it took me hours to gain it back. It was magical, how quickly it all happened. Before production ended, the last time I had to do any sort of dancing, I ran home that night and had a massive bowl of mac and cheese. I was so excited.
Going back to my poor eating habits, after having really good eating habits, my stomach was a little unsettled, but after production ended, the first thing I did was go and get Panda Express at the airport terminal, at Virgin America at JFK, and I was so excited.
And then, I landed in L. That is what I did. It was so good. What was your reaction when you saw the film, for the first time? I was there and I remembered most of it, but I had no idea how Darren was shooting it. The camera really is a part of the movie. But, I would say I have a healthy balance of both, I would hope. What do you think about all of the Oscar talk for this film and your performance?
It all makes me very uncomfortable. I have no idea what to say to that type of question. Anything else is just all very new to me.