Director R.J. Cutler explains how his Billie Eilish doc for Apple TV+ resembles The Office
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It took a second for the acclaimed The September Issue director to understand what the young music phenom was looking for, exactly. But by spending more time with her, "I realized what she meant was, as you know, there's a unique relationship that the John Krasinski character in particular has with the camera in The Office, which is a faux documentary. And that's really what she was alluding to," he tells EW. "That kind of connection to the camera was something she wanted the opportunity to have in making a documentary."
While it's not an element that takes over the film, "There are two or three key moments where she connects with the camera in a way that is reflective of who Billie is in her connection to her audience," the director adds.
In terms of what type of narrative to expect from Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry, Cutler says, "It was very clear to me from day one that this would be a family story. It was very clear to me from day one, that I was telling a coming-of-age story. It was very clear to me from day one, that I wanted it to be an observational film. There are no interviews. There's no talking heads."
The doc is scored from beginning to end by the music that Eilish and her brother Finneas made together. "The viewers are dropped into this world, and you go on this journey with Billie," Cutler explains. "There's nothing between you and the subject. You're in the rooms, you're in the cars, you're on the planes, you're everywhere she is. You're on stage and nobody is analyzing it for you. You're having your own unique experience. And I knew from the beginning, I would want to do that."
Tracking Eilish's rise to fame, and more specifically working in home videos she and her brother had the foresight to shoot while creating her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, the Apple TV+ documentary paints the picture of how exactly these young siblings from the Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park made a project so significant it swept the 2020 Grammy Awards.
Cutler concludes with a tease, "This film is an epic journey. It's two hours and 20 minutes long. It's a full meal, there's an intermission, and we went for it. You're going to have a full experience watching this movie and the subject was worthy of that. That's what the subject called for."
Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry premieres in theaters and on Apple TV+ on Friday, Feb. 26.