Natalie Portman added a glamorous touch to the opening of the Venice film festival as she launched her new ballet film Black Swan.
The petite actress, who had dancing lessons as a child, wore a navy mini-dress and gold platform heels as she talked about the gruelling preparation she underwent for the thriller.
"Six months ahead of the film, I went into sort of hyper-training, where five hours a day I was doing both ballet and cross-training, with swimming," she said. "A few months before was when we started getting into the choreography. It was very extreme."
Black Swan, directed by The Wrestler's Darren Aronofsky, stars Portman as a a perfection-seeking dancer desperate to win the role of prima-ballerina at the New York City ballet.
It is one of 23 films vying for the Golden Lion prize, which Aronofsky won with The Wrestler two years ago.