After spending her day campaigning for Democrat MJ Hegar in the North Austin suburbs, actress Natalie Portman was radiant Thursday on the red carpet for Austin Film Festival's opening night film, “Vox Lux.” Portman said she was familiar with Hegar and Congressman Beto O'Rourke before visiting Texas, but she enjoyed spending time visiting their offices and learning about their campaigns. She’s been active in voter engagement efforts across the country, and on the red carpet she emphasized how what happens in different regions around the nation affects all Americans.

PHOTOS: Natalie Portman stops by the Cedar Park offices of MJ Hegar

“We are the United States,” she said.

Introducing the film she was effusive about her feelings for Austin.

“I love this city so much,” she said. “I got to film here for the first time when I was 18 in 'Where the Heart Is' and again with Terry Malick in 2012.” On the red carpet she said Guero’s is her go-to spot for tacos and that she loves vintage shopping on South Congress.

In “Vox Lux,” Portman plays Celeste, a troubled pop star with a tragic past.

She said it was a rare opportunity to play “such an original, wild character that just lept off the page.”

The song features music by Sia. At a panel earlier in the day, writer and director Brady Corbet said that he approached the pop star because she was one of the few talents in the genre who writes her own music and “to his surprise and delight she was open to it.”

Because of the difficulty in licensing, the music in many films revolving around singers is terrible, but Sia’s songs are a highlight of “Vox Lux” and Portman’s transformation into a pop superstar is entirely believable.

“She was so fun. It was so fun to be her,” she said at a Q&A session after the film.

And as she was leaving the stage, she returned the conversation to her other passion.

“You’ve voted already, right?” she asked the audience.

“Vote,” she said.

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