London: Natalie Portman put herself through a painful "monastic" lifestyle to understand her character in the film `Black Swan`.
The Israeli American actress put herself through physical hardships to get into the right mindset for filming the dark tale of a ballet dancer, Contactmusic reported.
"The physical discipline of it really helped for the emotional side of the character because you get the sense of the monastic lifestyle of only working out, that is a ballet dancer`s life.
You don`t drink, you don`t go out with your friends, you don`t have much food and you are constantly putting your body through extreme pain, so you get that understanding of the self-flagellation of a ballet dancer", said the `V for Vendetta` star.
The aspect of training for the role which the 28-year-old found hardest was the strict diet she had to adhere to.
"There was really no money for the film and we had to push it back a lot of times. I actually don`t mind that, but I only found out recently that Natalie would just be screaming at her manager that she had to live on carrots and almonds for another three weeks. She was the one who suffered the most from not eating." said director Darren Aronofsky.
Portman said that as soon as the film had finished shooting she ate pasta "for breakfast, lunch and dinner" to celebrate.