Natalie Portman chats about new movie Black Swan

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The day after opening the Venice Film Festival, Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky says getting the movie made was not easy:

"Everyone passed on it. Even after The Wrestler, everyone passed on it. And even with Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel in it, everyone passed on it.

"I couldn't get it made. I remember going to Natalie and being like, it may not happen and then Fox Searchlight came in at last minute and kind of saved us."

Natalie Portman stars in the dark psychological drama about a ballerina who finally lands the lead in a production but loses her grip on reality as the pressure builds.

The 29-year-old actress says she is always in search of a challenge when picking a role:

"With everything I do I want to learn something new. And part of that, too, is never being a snob.

I never want to try and just make like, arty, intellectual films, I love those, of course, as experiences, but I also love big, more traditional entertainment type movies. And that's always trying different things and always challenging myself is definitely my aspiration."

Black Swan in out in UK cinemas in early 2011.