11:30am PT by Gil Kaufman, Billboard
Miley Cyrus Confirms 'Black Mirror' Role
After spending all week teasing that "one of the biggest stars in music" was going to visit his Sirius XM show to debut a Christmas duet with co-host Robin Quivers, Howard Stern finally pulled back the curtain to reveal friend of the show Miley Cyrus on Wednesday morning. And while the "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" singer's run of "Silent Night" with Quivers was good for laughs, Cyrus also revealed some major news during her hourlong appearance.
First up, she confirmed that Sean Ono Lennon will be joining her and "Heart" producer Mark Ronson on Saturday Night Live this weekend for a performance of the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Christmas classic "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." Cyrus and Ronson are the musical guest for the Dec. 15 show, which will be hosted by Matt Damon.
"This song … the way that it is so true to where we are right now and these lyrics of, 'What have we done?' Are we doing enough? Are we actually active? All we do is complain and we don't actually get out there and do enough in our communities. I think it's so timely for right now," Cyrus said of their special rendition of the holiday plea for peace. She also hinted that she might appear in a sketch on this weekend's show, and said she and Lennon would record a studio version of the song at New York's Electric Lady studios on Wednesday.
Cyrus then spoke at length about the Malibu fire that destroyed her home — as well as her extensive collection of cheap wigs and her beloved Elvis shrine — and how she lost all of her handwritten lyrics to her songs in the disaster. The singer-actress said that she'd been away from home during the blaze, filming in South Africa, which led to a confirmation of recent reports that she will appear in the upcoming season of Netflix's dystopian future drama series Black Mirror.
"If you guess it, then I will shake my head 'yes,' or 'no,'" she told Stern, who then revealed to his audience that she'd confirmed the news, even though a nervous Cyrus explained that she hasn't actually uttered the series' name, because nobody told her she could officially speak about her guest-starring role yet. The Charlie Brooker-created anthology series has been renewed for a fifth season, but a release date has yet to be announced. (Netflix declined comment.)
In light of the plaudits Lady Gaga has gotten for her A Star Is Born lead role, Stern wondered if it was time for Cyrus to make a serious run at a blockbuster role after her years of experience onscreen as a child actress. "I'm really actually excited for everyone to watch the 'headshaking project' we said yes to [before]," she said cryptically. "The minute I say I never want to do something again, all of a sudden, there I am."
Cyrus said she's been hunkering down working on her next album — due out next year — and because she always "hates everything" she does in retrospect, the return to acting on Black Mirror was a revelation. "I hate everything, but it was the first time I've left somewhere feeling really proud of my work," she said.
She couldn't say much, but promised that she plays a dynamic role that has a "lot of different sides" to the character. "There's a lot of dimension to it, and actually it was while the devastation of Malibu was happening, and it was a really weird learning experience for me because I was so far from home and the show is already really dark, and it's already kind of eerie when you're there the whole time," she said. "But I learned a lot about myself, and I think I was able to use that and put that into it."
The singer said she's never loved Liam Hemsworth, her "survival partner" (also, maybe her fiance), more than she does right now for saving her vast menagerie of animals (seven dogs, four horses, two pigs and three cats) from the fires, putting her pigs in crates and rounding them up while she was away from home. Cyrus also said that she reached out to Ariana Grande after her breakup with Pete Davidson via emoji, sending her a cat with heart eyes ("pussy heart") to let her friend know she was thinking about her. "I thought it was slightly even making her feel good, like maybe I was hitting on her a little bit," Miley explained, saying Grande responded with a cloud emoji. "I think she was saying, 'I'm OK and I'm here. Thank you for thinking of me.'"
A version of this story originally appeared on Billboard.com.