The interview below contains SPOILERS for the film “Vox Lux.”
The new movie “Vox Lux” from actor-turned-director Brady Corbett begins with a bang and yet something quite familiar in modern day America: a school shooting. The manner in which the opening segment of the film unfolds is still very startling and sets everything in motion for the main character of Celeste. She is a teenager (played by Raffey Cassidy) who survives the classroom murders, writes and performs a song about it for the memorial and becomes a worldwide pop star over the first hour of the movie. It then jumps forward many years to reveal a far more jaded, world-weary, belligerent version of Celeste (now played by Natalie Portman).
In our recent interview with Portman (watch the exclusive video above), she discusses “Vox Lux” and playing the grow-up Celeste following Cassidy’s performance. She says, “We really didn’t coordinate in that way because the characters are so different. Brady consciously skipped the period in between when this innocent child grows up into this monster. You don’t really see how it happens. You just see the before and after… We’re very familiar with the tropes of someone becoming a star and changing and having these downfalls, both through real-life stories and cinematic tropes.”
In a brilliant bit of casting, Cassidy also plays the daughter of Celeste in the future timeline. Of that decision Portman adds, “It was scary because it was a bigger challenge to be believable as the same character. You’ve got the younger version of the character in the scene with you. I loved it, too, because it gave this feeling of looking at your younger self like when you look at your kid, which is what if feels like to be a parent often is that you have this sense that you have this second chance and a cyclical nature. The good and the bad of that; the generosity that you can feel by looking at someone who is a piece of you.”
Because she is only in half of the film, Portman is campaigning as Best Supporting Actress on this year’s awards circuit. She has already won at the Oscars once as Best Actress for “Black Swan” (2010). Her other two nominations were for supporting (“Closer,” 2004) and lead (“Jackie,” 2016). She also prevailed for “Black Swan” at BAFTA, SAG Awards and Golden Globes. Her first Globe victory was for “Closer.”
Portman brought a wealth of knowledge to this new role as a child star growing up until adulthood surrounded by the entertainment industry. She received her first Golden Globe nomination at the young age of 18 for the movie “Anywhere But Here,” which we discuss in our chat above. Other films in her career have included “Beautiful Girls,” “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” “Zoolander,” “Cold Mountain,” “No Strings Attached,” “Thor” and “Annihilation.”
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