Studios have long liked to maintain the illusion that their stars or starlets are doing much of their performing. But when it comes to heavy stunts or nudity sometimes insurance, pride or ability will keep them from giving their all. But this is nothing new. And so after Natalie Portman won an academy award for her performance in Black Swan, her body double Sarah Lane is claiming to Us Magazine that she did almost all of the dancing. Lane also alledges she was told by the studio not to speak out.

Perhaps Lane felt safe now that the film is through award season to shit talk Portman, but Portman’s  choreographer and fiance Benjamin Millepied claims it was about 85% Natalie. Not having been in the editing room, this clearly makes it a case of “he said, she said” and the story will likely make the rounds for a bit – perhaps tarnishing Portman’s star. But mostly it’ll just be an asterisk to a very successful film.

This week Peter Bart has also brought to light supposed new information from the set of Don’t Look Now. In the film Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie have a love scene that’s been considered so realistic many have assumed that they were having sex for real. Bart claims he saw penetration, Sutherland called him a liar for suggesting as much.

In both cases the only reason why these are stories is because it’s gossip. Having seen both films, what was or wasn’t performed by its stars is irrelevant. Both films work, regardless of whether Sutherland and Christie were having sex and regardless of whether Portman did most of her dancing or not. And in both an illusion is maintained, and that’s all that really matters. Knowing is overrated in these cases, because everything else is just idle speculation. It’d be one thing if Portman was saying she did it all – that’s when you’re more than likely being lied to by publicity.

Do you believe Tom Cruise does all his own stunts?