Ballet Stars
Polunin in a promotional photo for the documentary Dancer.

It looks like Sergei Polunin has finally gotten his wish. The controversial dancer, who abruptly quit The Royal Ballet in 2012 after becoming the company's youngest-ever principal, has repeatedly expressed his desire to be in movies. In fact, his current status as a permanent guest artist at Bavarian State Ballet allows him to have more freedom for outside opportunities. And it looks like he's going to be very busy for a while—earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Polunin has scored not one, but two major movie deals alongside actor heavyweights like Jennifer Lawrence, Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.

While Polunin is no stranger to film—his bio-doc Dancer was released earlier this year, and he gained widespread recognition after starring in David LaChappelle's 2015 video of Hozier's “Take Me to Church"—these two movies take him into Hollywood blockbuster territory. The first is a remake of the 1974 classic Murder on the Orient Express, based on Agatha Christie's crime novel. Kenneth Branagh is set to direct and star in the film, in addition to Depp, Cruz, Judi Dench and Michelle Pfieffer. The other, Red Sparrow, is a spy-thriller set in modern day Russia featuring Lawrence, Joel Edgarton and Jeremy Irons. Polunin's roles in both films have not yet been announced, but Red Sparrow does concern a former ballerina turned Russian spy—fingers crossed that we'll see some dancing.

Ballet Stars

After months of anticipation, it's finally here. Dancer, the long-awaited documentary of international ballet star Sergei Polunin, had its world premiere in Los Angeles September 9, and opens in New York and on demand this Friday, September 16. It will also play in selected cities across the country.

Through intimate childhood home videos, performance footage and in-depth interviews with his family, friends and even detractors, Dancer aims to unpack the complicated, controversial life of the former Royal Ballet star. As you may recall, Polunin made headlines several years ago for walking out on his principal contract at age 22—and for his very public, self-sabotaging behavior. But the movie also reveals his troubled home life, the enormous sacrifices his family made for him, and his inner turmoil over whether to continue dancing. In this clip, we see him spiraling out of control, exhausted and stifled by his heavy commitments with The Royal Ballet.

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