Natalie Portman's husband Benjamin Millepied, who transformed the actress into an Academy Award-winning prima ballerina for 'Black Swan,' heads off to Paris.
Chris Pizzello / AP / File
Natalie Portman's husband, Benjamin Millepied, the "Black Swan" choreographer who helped transform Natalie Portman into an obsessed, paranoid ballerina for the film and later married the actress, was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet on Thursday.
Millepied, 35, is a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who left in 2011 to create his own dance company in Los Angeles, L.A. Dance Project. He'll start at the Paris company in October 2014, when the current dance director, Brigitte Lefevre, retires.
Portman and Millepied, who have a son, met during the making of "Black Swan," Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller that stars Portman as a ballet dancer. Portman won the best actress Academy Award for her performance in the movie.
Millepied is known for his innovative work outside classical ballet, and his latest project in Los Angeles has its roots in contemporary dance. In the ballet world, the appointment of Millepied — who has no formal ties to the Paris Opera Ballet — is considered something of a coup.
"I will keep the things that seem strong and solid and I have the chance to rethink certain other things," Millepied told the Figaro newspaper in an interview Thursday.