In tandem with the theatrical release of her Brady Corbet-directed festival drama Vox Lux — about a fierce pop singer teetering on the edge of an emotional breakdown in a world overrun by unspeakable violence — Portman released Friday the first full-length preview of her first foray into mainstream music: An emotional, Sia-penned ballad titled “Wrapped Up.”
Written by the Australian hitmaker for the Vox Lux original soundtrack (which also features contributions from Sia’s longtime collaborators Chris Briade and Greg Kurstin as well as an original score by British musician Scott Walker), “Wrapped Up” plays a vital role in the plot of the allegorical film. After surviving a violent school shooting, teenage Celeste (The Killing of a Sacred Deer star Raffey Cassidy) pens the song with her older sister Ellie (Stacy Martin) as a tribute to her fallen classmates. The tune eventually takes off after the music industry commodifies her suffering, an act which charts her meteoric rise to fame as an unhinged pop icon (whom Portman plays in the latter half of the movie) grappling with a stalled career and the aftermath of another terrorist attack while she prepares to front a comeback concert for 30,000 fans.
Portman previously told EW it was always Corbet’s plan to have her voice on the movie’s original songs.
“Brady never asked me to sing or hear my voice first. I was like, ‘Do you want to know if I can do this?'” she said with a laugh. “And he was like, ‘Oh it doesn’t matter, you’ll get to the studio and you’ll understand!’ [Laughs]. They work so much magic on the vocals to make them sound like pop songs. I saw how central the producer’s role is.”
Vox Lux is now playing in limited release. The film expands to more theaters around the country in the weeks ahead, while the original soundtrack drops next Friday, Dec. 14. Listen to “Wrapped Up” above.