Natalie Portman, James Franco Cover ‘EW’

This is pretty meta, but see if you can follow: Natalie Portman was so immersed in the Black Swan role of a ballerina so immersed in the role of Swan Lake that it might kill her, she sometimes thought she was going to die in real life!

The covergirl of Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Issue (along with Oscar host James Franco,) the pregnant and engaged star says: “There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die…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.”

If you’ve seen Black Swan, you know that this kind of scary talk sounds a lot like that of Natalie’s alter ego Nina Sayers. Still, Natalie keeps a sense of humor about the role that is likely to land her an Oscar nod for Best Actress, acknowledging that her steamy sex scene with Mila Kunis is a big draw for moviegoers.

“Everyone was so worried about who was going to want to see this movie,” she told the magazine. “I remember them being like, ‘How do you get guys to a ballet movie? How do you get girls to a thriller?’ And the answer is a lesbian scene. Everyone wants to see that.”

Who can argue with that? Peep a preview of that sex scene below and tell us in the comments – should Natalie win an Oscar?