Categories Films Interview Press Videos Vox Lux

Press: Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy on ‘Vox Lux’ and the Film’s Dark, Violent Opening

Director Brady Corbet‘s Vox Lux is like the warped, nasty sibling of A Star Is Born. The film starts, quite literally, with a bang, when teenager Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) is the sole survivor of a school shooting. Footage of Celeste singing at a memorial service sweeps the nation, blasting the young girl into the pop-star stratosphere thanks to Jude Law‘s savvy talent manager. Flash-forward a decade or two and Celeste—now played by Natalie Portman, going all out for this role—is a Gaga-esque superstar, but the years in-between have sharpened her naive edges into something much more tragic. Vox Lux has been pretty divisive among critics, but I really dug it; like Celeste herself, the film is a wicked piece of work, but you have to admire its ambition.

Before Vox Lux‘s debut, I sat down with Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy to discuss the film. Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy:

  • Their thoughts while reading the script’s jarring opening for the first time.
  • How the film uses a lot of long takes where the camera is following the performers from behind.
  • Their perspective on the film’s line about pop music: “I don’t want people to have to think too much, I just want them to feel good.”
  • Why the film makes a point several times to show that Celeste has lost her hotel room key.
  • Balancing complex dance choreography with staying in character.
  • VOX LUX, A 20th Century Portrait, begins in 1999 when teenage Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a violent tragedy. After singing at a memorial service, Celeste transforms into a burgeoning pop star with the help of her songwriter sister (Stacy Martin) and talent manager (Jude Law). Celeste’s meteoric rise to fame dovetails with a personal and national loss of innocence, consequently elevating the young powerhouse to a new kind of celebrity: American icon, secular deity, global superstar.

    By 2017, adult Celeste (Natalie Portman) is mounting a comeback after a scandalous incident almost derailed her career. Touring in support of her sixth album, a compendium of sci-fi anthems entitled, “Vox Lux,” the indomitable, foul-mouthed pop savior must overcome her personal and familial struggles to navigate motherhood, madness and monolithic fame.

    Featuring original songs by Sia, an original score by Scott Walker and a transcendent performance by Natalie Portman – VOX LUX personifies the cult of celebrity and pummels the zeitgeist, it’s an original story about the forces that shape us, as individuals and nations.”

    Source: Collider

    Categories Press Videos

    Press/Video: Natalie Portman & Jude Law Answer the Web’s Most Searched Questions | WIRED

    “Vox Lux” stars Natalie Portman and Jude Law take the WIRED Autocomplete Interview and answer the internet’s most searched questions about themselves. What languages can Natalie Portman speak? What was Jude Law’s first movie? Where did Natalie go to college? Jude and Natalie answer all these questions and more!

    Categories Films Interview Press Videos Vox Lux

    Press/Video: Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy on singing, screaming, and crying for Vox Lux

    Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy’s new film, Vox Lux, follows the rise of aspiring entertainer Celeste, from the ashes of a major national tragedy to pop superstardom. With the film in theaters today, we sat down with Portman and Cassidy about the film, and the demands of their performances.

    Source A.V. Club

    Press/Video: Natalie Portman Reveals Why ‘Vox Lux’ Is the Most Political Film She’s Ever Made
    Categories Films Interview Press Videos Vox Lux

    Press/Video: Natalie Portman Reveals Why ‘Vox Lux’ Is the Most Political Film She’s Ever Made

    Natalie Portman’s “Vox Lux” dazzled critics at the Venice Film Festival and continues to draw crowds in Canada. At our Variety Studio presented by AT&T at the Toronto Film Festival, the actress joined co-star Jude Law and director Brady Corbet to discuss the darkness behind all the glitter and glam of “Vox Lux.”

    After the Venice and TIFF premieres, Portman claimed that this was the most political film she’s ever made. The actress explained this statement to Variety exclusively.

    “Brady’s writing was such an accurate portrait of our moment, like nothing I’ve seen,” she said. “Where it’s not any sort of political message, or anything like that, but it has such a, ‘This is the culture and the political situation that we’re living in where everything is for sale.’ And how much attention we pay something, whether it’s a pop star, or a terrorist attack, gives it its importance and gives it its value. How much you can sell it is what makes it important.”

    Her character, Celeste, discovers fame at the age of 13, shortly after her school is attacked by a rogue shooter. The atrocity, and the song it inspired her to sing, rockets the young girl to stardom. Portman herself understands the glare of the early Hollywood spotlight, having starred alongside Jean Reno in the 1994 movie “Leon: The Professional.”

    “It is a weird thing to have a public persona and a private persona so young,” Portman said. “Because you’re kind of aware of keeping those separate. And there’s a weird splitting of self, ‘This is what other people can know about me, this is what’s valuable for me to have just for myself,’ and that can be strange, but important to keep separate. Which, this character doesn’t really do.”

    Source: Variety

    Press/Video: ‘Vox Lux’ Actress Natalie Portman Says She Dreamed of Playing a Pop Star
    Categories Films Press Videos Vox Lux

    Press/Video: ‘Vox Lux’ Actress Natalie Portman Says She Dreamed of Playing a Pop Star

    Now playing – Natalie Portman in ‘Vox…

    Although Brady Corbet’s much anticipated “Vox Lux” seems to have gotten a lukewarm early reaction from the press at Venice Film Festival on Tuesday, the movie has gained significant traction on the Lido, by judging from how packed the morning screenings and press conference were. Meanwhile, the performance of Natalie Portman, who stars as a dysfunctional pop star who survived a school shooting as a teenager, has been applauded on social media.

    The Oscar-winning, Jerusalem-born actress, who has often been outspoken about current social and political issues, said she didn’t perceive “Vox Lux” as having a political message but instead viewed it as a “reflection of the world we live it.” “If anything, it’s a portrait of our society, and the intersection between pop culture and violence and the spectacle that we equate between these two,” said Portman.

    Portman said she was “interested in the psychology of what violence does to individuals (as she is) from a place (Israel) where people have encountered it for so long.”

    “Unfortunately, in the U.S. we also experience violence regularly with school shootings which are, as Brady said to me before, some kind of civil wars,” said the actress, adding that even “small acts of violence can create widespread psychological torment.”

    Meanwhile, the Oscar-winning actress admitted that “playing a pop star was a dream” for her and that she had been a “fan of Sia for a long time.”

    Portman then said she watched several documentaries about pop stars to prepare for the role but added, with a laugher, that she was “not inspired by a particular pop star.” Another key aspect of preparing for the part was the dancing which she nailed thanks to her husband, Benjamin Millepied, a high-profile ballet dancer and choreographer with whom she worked on “Black Swan.” “I did the dancing with my husband at home which was nice. It was very fun to work together again,” said Portman.

    Corbet explained that while he approached “Vox Lux” as a drama only, he had to face all the lentghy preparations of a music movie. “There was so much preparation that went into the soundrack, choreography and lip sync. It was nearly a year’s work to put the soundtrack out a year before we started shooting,” said the actor-turned-helmer who made his feature debut with “The Childhood of a Leader” in 2015.

    Besides Portman and Corbet, the presser for “Vox Lux” was attended by Stacy Martin and Raffay Cassidy. The movie is being represented in international markets by Sierra/Affinity, while Endeavor Content and CAA represent the US rights.

    Press/Video: First Look: Natalie Portman Is a Bowie-Esque Pop Star in Mysterious Vox Lux
    Categories Films Press Videos Vox Lux

    Press/Video: First Look: Natalie Portman Is a Bowie-Esque Pop Star in Mysterious Vox Lux

    In a scintillating exclusive teaser for the upcoming film, Portman plays Celeste, a glam-pop supernova.

    Natalie Portman is going glam. In Vox Lux, the upcoming music drama making its debut at the Venice Film Festival on September 4, the Oscar-winning actress plays Celeste, a pop phoenix who climbs from tragedy to worldwide stardom. The film, directed by Brady Corbet, follows her journey over the course of 18 years, from 1999 to 2017. In an exclusive first look from the film, above, watch as Portman struts backstage in a glittery, feathery ensemble, her hair swept in a thick silver updo. In the background, throngs of fans can be heard screaming, lending the clip an otherworldly effect; she’s a Black Swan turned pop alien, en route to legions of howling followers.

    The film kicks off by introducing viewers to Celeste in her teen years, where the character is played by Raffey Cassidy, late of The Killing of a Sacred Deer. After surviving a violent tragedy, she performs at a memorial service, which soon kicks off her pop career. As Celeste climbs the ladder, she’s aided along by her songwriter sister (Stacy Martin) and talent manager (Jude Law, which makes Vox Lux a Closer reunion!), eventually rising to American icon status. But by 2017, when we meet adult Celeste (Portman), she’s an embattled, scandalized star trying to stage a comeback with her sixth album, a sci-fi-inspired collection of songs titled Vox Lux. The film features original songs by Sia, one of the most effortless pop stars of our time, and an original score by Scott Walker, the experimental legend whose work has spanned various genres.

    In a statement to the Venice Film Fest, Corbet explained that the film’s timeline and the way it explores how the past affects the present was inspired by his debut feature, The Childhood of a Leader. “Vox Lux is the continuation of that theme but on the other side of the century: a historical melodrama set in America between 1999 and 2017,” he said. Vox Lux does not yet have a set release date—but after taking Venice, it will make its way to the Toronto International Film Festival. Awards-season prognosticators, get your pens ready.

    Source: Vanity Fair

    Press/Videos: Natalie Portman Teams with Omaze for Double Date Contest
    Categories Press Videos

    Press/Videos: Natalie Portman Teams with Omaze for Double Date Contest

    Natalie Portman is offering fans a chance to go on a double date with her and her husband. Donations to enter the contest will benefit WE.

    Natalie Portman has teamed up with Omaze to offer fans the chance to go on a double date to the ballet with her and her husband, Benjamin Millepied. Omaze previously worked with Star Wars: Force for Change and fans were able to win a stay at Skywalker Ranch.

    This contest is going to benefit WE, which is a family of organizations that help make it easier for people to do good. It’s a great cause and if you want to enter the contest, the requirement is that you donate $10. All donations will be taken through Omaze, which is where you enter for your chance to win.

    To announce the contest, Portman tried to guess her answers to old interview questions by filling in the blanks. It’s an entertaining way to promote the fundraiser and I highly suggest watching it.

    It’s been a while since Natalie Portman has played a role in the Star Wars franchise, but still makes Star Wars news every now and then. The most recent case was when Mark Hamill tweeted about never meeting his mother, aka Padmé Amidala. It was a great moment for Star Wars fans and this contest can be one, too.

    Here’s a quick glimpse at what is promised for the winner of the contest.

    • Sit VIP with Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied at an L.A. Dance Project ballet performance
    • Hang out, snap selfies and get to know Natalie and Benjamin over drinks
    • Head backstage for a behind-the-scenes look at the show directed by Benjamin himself
    • Be flown out to Los Angeles and put up in a 4-star hotel

    As of right now, there are 45 days left in the contest, so you still have plenty of time to enter. Don’t miss out on your chance to meet Natalie Portman.

    Source: Dork Side of the Force