Fresh off the release of her wild EP She Is Coming, Miley Cyrus has taken her talents to Netflix's Black Mirror, which premiered its fifth season on Wednesday (June 5). In an episode called "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too," Cyrus plays, appropriately, a popstar named Ashley O who's plagued by mental demons and whose consciousness is locked inside a robot doll (casual!).
To make Ashley O appear as a legit megastar, the show obviously had to give her some bops to perform, but it turns out that the pink-haired character's signature songs are actually rewrites of Nine Inch Nails classics. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker spoke to GQ about the unusual choice, explaining that a casual listen of NIN's "Head Like a Hole" made him realize how easy it would be to turn Trent Reznor's tune into dance-pop.
"The idea is that the pop versions of the songs are insanely positive, full of empty affirmations," Brooker said. "She's singing 'I'm on a roll,' and it struck me as amusing to then reveal that she was singing 'Head Like a Hole.'"
Listen close during the episode and you'll also hear a pop-ified version of NIN's "Right Where It Belongs." Brooker said he also reworked "Hurt" as "Flirt," but couldn't find a place for it in the episode, which is really a shame, because that sounds too unbelievable to be real.
What's perhaps most surprising about all of this is that Reznor wasn't only open to the idea, but a fan of Cyrus's performance, both as an actor and a musician.
"I didn't question the integrity of how it would be used," the NIN frontman told GQ. "It was a flattering ask and I thought, yeah, let's try it, let's see. … I think the most exciting part was when the music tracks came back. You can't listen to it without a smile. I put it on in the car with my wife and she was like 'what the fuck is that?' It's just so well done in that style."
Nine Inch Nails seem to be legitimately stoked about the new episode, because the band has released a limited-edition T-shirt featuring "the iconic lyrics of Ashley O," per a description on their website. Check that out below.