Darren Aronofsky on the set of Black Swan

If you haven’t seen Black Swan yet, go. Now. Today. Before you read a single review, spoiler or blog that could even remotely give you a hint about the roller-coaster ride that is director Darren Aronofsky’s latest film. “I always just sort of write something that comes from the gut, something that make sense to me,” says Aronofsky of his affinity for far-from-the-norm films. “You try to create real emotions and real characters, and you hope that people will invest in them.”


    Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as rival ballerinas in an unconventional production of Swan Lake, was more than a decade in the works, but the seed for the storyline was planted 15 years ago. “When I graduated from film school I made a list of ideas for possible feature films, and The Wrestler was one of them; Black Swan was another,” says Aronofsky. “Years later when I was making Requiem for a Dream, a script came through called The Understudy [written by Andrés Heinz] that was set in the off-Broadway world, and I thought it might be a good entrance for something set in the ballet world.”

Black Swan, which opened earlier this month, is a masterpiece of an emotional thriller. But now that The Wrestler (which garnered a laundry list of accolades from the Oscars to the Grammys) and Black Swan have screened, what’s left from that original wish list? Says Aronofsky, “There are still a few on the list, but it’s shrinking quickly.”

Aronofsky's Favorite Movies Shot in NYC 

  • Ms. 45 (1981)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • The Warriors (1979)
  • Liquid Sky (1982)
  • Death Wish (1974)
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