Billie Eilish made her acting debut in the Donald Glover series Swarm, and apparently her creepy character was inspired by the notorious sex cult NXIVM.
Swarm stars Dominique Fishback as a girl named Dre who develops a murderous obsession with her music icon, Ni’Jah, played by Nirine S. Brown. In the series’ fourth episode, Dre has a run-in with police and is seemingly saved by Billie’s charming character, Eva.
Eva is revealed to be the leader of a so-called female empowerment commune, where its members are branded and wear the same colors. As the episode progresses, the commune’s welcoming nature turns sinister.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with producer Janine Nabers about Billie’s buzzworthy performance. “When she pitched [Billie Eilish] for the role of Eva, we were like, ‘Oh, she’s really cool! Let’s go with it,'” she recalled. “She was great!”
Nabers said Billie’s character was inspired by NXIVM and its leader, Keith Raniere, which provided a “true-crime element to that episode.”
“When people think of the idea of artists or celebrities, there is this idea of thinking about the cult of Taylor Swift, or the cult of the Beatles or whatever,” she continued. “What we were really interested in was just seeing someone who worships at the altar of ‘something,’ and (exploring) this idea of what is the cult of the mind.”
Swarm is streaming now on Prime Video.
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