Natalie Portman Didn't Realize 'How Hard' Pop Stardom Was Until 'Vox Lux'

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As Celeste in Vox Lux, out Dec. 7, Natalie Portman offers a 13-minute stage efficiency worthy of all of the divas her character would look like modeled after. Her supersized ego rivals Madonna's, and her android aesthetic, coupled with followers she refers to as “little angels,” overlaps greater than a bit with a sure fame monster. Even so, Portman, 37, insists that her character “is clearly not based mostly on any of these individuals.” Writer-director Brady Corbet has created a singular superstar in Celeste: a pop sensation who survived a Columbine-era college taking pictures solely to search out herself on the verge of a breakdown 20 years later. Portman performs 5 unique songs within the movie, all of which had been co-written by Sia and, months after wrapping, stay caught in her head.

What stunned you about taking part in a pop star?

I didn't understand how difficult squatting in stilettos is. You actually have to be in unimaginable form. And I by no means considered how onerous it's to know what to do together with your microphone. Even simply understanding all of the lyrics and having the ability to dance on the similar time is a ability.

Did you watch the Lady Gaga documentary Five Feet Two or Amy or Madonna: Truth or Dare to arrange?

I watched all of them. They had been actually useful with the small print. You perceive what the life-style is like, how demanding it's. People count on you to be who they see in efficiency.

Did you entertain desires of being a pop star while you had been little?

I positively bear in mind dancing across the playground with my pals after I was 5 or 6, doing all of the strikes to Madonna's “Material Girl.” But I used to be actually obsessive about Juliana Hatfield after I was 13. I used to go to each single one in every of her reveals and scream and cry when it was over.

You've rapped in Saturday Night Live digital shorts. How did you're feeling about really singing?

I bear in mind asking Brady, “Don't you need to, like, hear me sing?” He stated it doesn't matter, that's type of the purpose. If you'll be able to principally carry a tune, they will do a whole lot of magic to make it sound like an awesome tune. What you hear just isn't the uncooked monitor, I can promise you.

Was the ultimate efficiency as a lot enjoyable because it seems to be?

We really filmed that in my hometown. A brand new studio [opened in Syosset, N.Y.] on Long Island across the nook from the place I went to highschool. My steerage counselor, who I’m nonetheless good pals with, got here together with her youngsters and her pals, and so they had been within the viewers. And we stayed at a lodge the place I went to each bar mitzvah rising up. It was actually humorous to come back full circle.

This article initially appeared within the Dec. eight challenge of Billboard.