Natalie Portman Thought She Was 'Going to Die' on 'Black Swan' SetIt takes a tough artist to dive so deeply into character that the pain becomes real and you consider your own mortality. Conspiracy theorists have long believed Heath Ledger's role as the Joker in 'The Dark Knight' killed him, and it turns out Natalie Portman might have gotten trapped inside a character too. In an Entertainment Weekly cover story, Portman recalls the emotional struggle to become Nina Sayers for director Darren Aronofsky's 'Black Swan.'

"There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die," she says. "It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could sort of take you down."

Portman says she had serious doubts the film would ever get made, which seems odd now considering she's a front-runner for the Best Actress Academy Award. (Note to ambitious young movie producers: whenever a movie seems in jeopardy, it helps to plug in a lesbian sex scene.)