Natalie Portman has been discussing her most recent role as ‘Celeste’ in the new Brady Corbet film Vox Lux.
The film, which marks Corbets’ second directorial feature, has been somewhat shrouded in mystery as it premieres at the Venice Film Festival before going on to be screened at the Toronto Film Festival.
Speaking in Venice, Portman said: “She’s not designed to be a monster at all,” when discussing her character. “She’s as much a victim of the era as a leader of the era. The film is very much about the fact that the 20th century was marked by the term ‘the banality of evil’ and the 21st century will be defined by the pageantry of evil,” she added.
Corbet, who famously the co-lead of Michael Haneke’s English language remake of Funny Games, has assembled an enticing cast which features Portman, Jude Law, Jennifer Ehle, Stacy Martin and Raffey Cassidy.
“I think if anything it’s an incredible reflection of the moment we live in,” Portman added. “It gives me a feeling that art does, not a message hammered over my head. I hope it makes people feel things that they recognise and they can see some of the things that we’re facing right now.”
The film follows Portman’s character Celeste through 15 years of her career as a singer, starting in 1999. The feature is a musical drama about a woman who achieves success after a tragic childhood.
“I’ve definitely been interested in the questions around the psychology of what violence does to individuals and to group psychology, coming from a place where people have encountered it for so long,” Portman continued. “Unfortunately, it’s been a phenomenon in the United States that we experience regularly with the school shootings, which are, as Brady has put it, a type of civil war and terror in the US and what that means for every kid going to school every day and how small acts of violence can create widespread psychology torment.”