November’s ELLE cover star Natalie Portman caught choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s eye during her turn as psychologically disturbed ballerina Nina in the 2009 film Black Swan. Four years later, they’re happily married and preparing for their son Aleph’s third Christmas. No doubt with a bottle of Baileys to hand, as Millepied has choreographed the drink’s latest Christmas advert.
The ad – Baileys’ first Christmas campaign for five years – brings Tchaikovsky’s much-loved festive ballet The Nutcracker into the present day. Black Swan was also based on a Tchaikovsky ballet (Swan Lake), but that’s where the similarity ends.
Far from the dark and twisted scenes of Black Swan, the Baileys ad sees Royal Ballet dancers give the classic fairytale a modern twist. In a winter wonderland bar, The Nutcracker Prince and The Mouse King fight for the attentions of the beautiful Clara, who in the end decides to ditch them both in favour of a festive night out with the girls. Quite right too.
Millepied said: ‘I wanted to create a film that was fun, spirited, and promoted the notion of ‘Spend time with the girls this Christmas’. The holidays are the time of the year when we have more time to see our friends, when we put aside the stresses of work, and when we can enjoy the company of those that know us the most.’
Perhaps we’ll see Natalie taking the message to heart and partying with fellow Black Swan star Mila Kunis come December. That’s one girl’s night out we’d love to be invited to.
Catch the full-length advert and relive Natalie’s Golden Globe award-winning turn as Nina in Black Swan this Saturday on Channel 4. The advert is due to air at 9.20pm, or watch it on YouTube afterwards here.