Darren Aronofsky’s latest film, Black Swan, has made plenty of noise in its limited release and now expands to over 900 theaters this weekend. Critics have showered it and its star with praise and awards nominations, but a great film is more than its main character (Natalie Portman) and director. Actress Kristina Anapau, who plays a Little Swan named Galina, spoke with us about Black Swan.
In the film, Nina (Natalie Portman) goes through a traumatic experience, both mentally and physically. Her internal struggle is only compounded by the ballerinas around her, who giggle and tease Nina throughout the film, further influencing her breakdown. One of these women is played by Kristina Anapau, who can be seen claiming her own grandmother can dance when mocking Beth (Winona Ryder) early in the movie.
Some of Anapau’s previous work includes Cruel Intentions 3, in which she portrays Cassidy Merteuil, the cousin of Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions). She also played Sasha in 100 Girls, a fun movie starring Jonathan Tucker. But her recent turn as Galina in Black Swan has brought her to the front lines of Hollywood. She has even been amongst those rumored to play Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s Superman: The Man of Steel.
Check out our exclusive interview with Kristina Anapau, as she discusses Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky, ballet and Lois Lane:
You’ve had a balanced career so far between television and film. Which do you prefer and has working with Darren Aronofsky swayed your opinion at all?
Both mediums have their respective challenges and pleasures. I prefer to play great characters in projects that have messages of substance to impart. It’s great that actors don’t have to choose these days between the two as they did in the past. There are some brilliant actors out there doing work in both mediums alternately and simultaneously. Working with Darren made me more passionate about the filmmaking process to be certain. No matter what budget he is working with it seems that he really maintains the spirit of an artistic independent film on set, which is lovely, stressful, and absolutely brilliant all at once!
Aronofsky is one of the rare filmmakers who continues to impress with each film. Why do you think he continues to succeed?
Darren is a genius at observing people. He understands humanity in all of their addictive, passionate, wounded, seeking, redemptive glory and somehow is able to magically transfer that onto the screen in a very heightened manner that touches audiences at their core.
Black Swan truly brought me to tears. Have you had an opportunity to see it? What are your thoughts?
I went to LA premiere in November. I was moved to tears as well… it turned out absolutely beautifully. Natalie’s performance was astounding and the acclaim she is receiving is so well-deserved. I’d love to see her win the Oscar.
You’ve experienced the world of ballet in your own life. Is it accurately portrayed in the film? There are moments that seem truly genuine, even in a supernatural thriller.
I have been involved in ballet since I was four years old and experienced a bit of the professional ballet world before making the transition to acting at age 16. Darren created a shockingly authentic portrayal of the ballet world to be certain. He had all of the actresses, including myself, train extensively with the American Ballet Theatre in the months leading up to filming… essentially, we had to become professional dancers. It was physically and emotionally exhausting, but incredibly rewarding. The extras were actual company members of the Pennsylvania Ballet, they moved together as a company would, interacted as a company would. It was daunting to slip in convincingly amongst them at first, but they were wonderful. I feel very privileged to have been a part of this film and very grateful to Darren for giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream of being a professional ballerina in New York City.
With your own experience, how would you say Natalie Portman portrayed the life off stage and the grace on stage?
The focus, discipline, and tremendous effort Natalie put into portraying Nina in Black Swan was incredible and the result is pitch perfect. She was flawless. It was incredibly inspiring to watch her work.
Are you as catty in the dressing room or amongst friends as Galina, your character in the film?
No, I try to squash any feeling of jealously as they arise. I have a lot respect for other women, their talents/accomplishments, and feel women should help each other when they can. It’s an unfortunate fact that often times it’s quite the opposite. There is a lot of competition among females on the whole in our society and even more so in the entertainment industry.
Any potential for more roles in even larger films? I saw a contingent of fans wanted you for Lois Lane in the Superman reboot. Do any characters like that interest you? Have you been approached to play any characters of that stature?
More roles in larger films is pretty much the idea. Thank you to all the fans who think I would make a great Lois. Before Black Swan I had taken a break and lived in Europe for a bit and since wrapping I have had a lot of great opportunities and have completed some work that I am very proud of artistically and on all other levels. I have a few films coming out about which I am very excited. The Speak is a thriller along the lines of Paranormal Activity and 5 Souls is a sort of Jacobs Ladder meets Rosemary’s Baby in which I play I blind woman who is so much more. Both of these will be out in 2011. Anyone who is interested can get updates on release dates for these and other projects on my Twitter page @kanapaufans.
100 Girls is one of my favorites from the ole’ high school days. How has that film followed you over the years?
100 Girls was really fun to shoot and has only followed me in positive ways, I suppose. I’m still in touch with a lot of the actors from that project…we were all in our teens then. It’s wonderful to see how everyone has evolved and matured since.
Thank you so much for your time and best of luck on your upcoming projects.
Look for Kristina Anapau in Black Swan as one of the fellow company members of Natalie Portman’s Nina. She can also be seen in a pair of films releasing in 2011 – The Speak and 5 Souls.
Discuss the film or any of the interview topics in the comments section below.