Look, I’m not saying that my favorite character trope is The Obsessed Artist. I’m just saying that whenever we’re introduced to a character that fits the trope, I immediately fall in love with them and slowly alter my personality in order to become them, y’a know?
Nina Sayers from Black Swan
Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton
Neil Perry from Dead Poets Society
Tonya Harding from I, Tonya
Alex Claremont-Diaz from Red, White & Royal Blue
James Farrow from If We We’re Villains
Orpheus from Hadestown
Beth Harmon from the Queen’s Gambit
Andrew Neiman from Whiplash
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Bonjour Tristesse (1958) dir. Otto Preminger
Dangerous Liaisons (1988) dir. Stephen Frears
Thirteen (2003) dir. Catherine Hardwicke
Jennifer’s Body (2009) dir. Karyn Kusama
Black Swan (2010) dir. Darren Aronofsky
American Horror Story (2011) dir. Ryan Murphy
I, Tonya (2017) dir. Craig Gillespie
Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn (2020) dir. Cathy Yan
Promising Young Woman (2020) dir. Emerald Fennell
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Movie: Black Swan
For those who haven’t watched Black Swan, this film takes place in New York, where protagonist Nina Sayers dances with a renowned ballet company. The company takes on Swan Lake and Nina is cast as the Swan Queen. The film follows Nina as she struggles to portray the duality of the black swan and the white swan.
The ballet director originally casts Nina knowing that she would be the perfect fit for the white swan. Everything from her bedroom to her ballet attire to her personality is aligned with the white swan- delicate, fragile, vulnerable and pure.
Nina’s rival, Lily, on the other hand, is viewed as carefree, deceptive, and audacious, much like the black swan
The contrast of these two characters resembles the transformation that Nina must undergo from white swan to black swan.
Finally, Nina reached her breaking point, where she is seen stabbing Lily in the dressing room. We later discover that she didn’t stab Lily, but herself, or the White Swan. This was her final release, which enabled her to fully become the black swan.
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