**Update: Read full review for Black Swan now!***

This week Black Swan will be on the lips of everyone thanks to its high profile premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Natalie Portman headlines the psychological thriller and plays a ballerina who, for lack of a better word, gets drawn to the dark side. In order to play such a character she had to physically prepare herself. If she was going to play a dancer, she had to train like one. Here’s a peek into her extreme regimen…

According to Yahoo Movies, Portman studied dance up until the age of 13 but was a bit out of practice.

“Physically, I trained starting a year ahead of time, and then the six months prior to [shooting] the film, went into a sort of hypertraining, where I was doing five hours a day of both ballet and crosstraining with swimming,” the actress said.

After she conditioned herself, she had to learn the actual choreography for the various dance performances. Portman revealed, “It was very extreme, and the mindset during the film was just sort of extreme discipline and focus and obsession … which was fantastic.”

Obsession and extreme are two words that define Black Swan perfectly. If you haven’t already read the glowing reviews, be sure to check them out because this is one of the most talked about films of the year.

What do you think of Portman’s regimen? Is it typical or overboard for a professional dancer?