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Billie Eilish says she was 'really nervous' for Greta Gerwig because 'a Barbie movie is so easy to make bad'

Callie Ahlgrim   

Billie Eilish says she was 'really nervous' for Greta Gerwig because 'a Barbie movie is so easy to make bad'
  • Billie Eilish spoke to Zane Lowe about making a song for Greta Gerwig's "Barbie."
  • Eilish initially had reservations about the project, but said she was "shocked" by the film's quality.

Billie Eilish opened up about her connection to the "Barbie" film in a recent interview with Zane Lowe, discussing the song she made for the soundtrack, "What Was I Made For?"

Eilish got involved when her brother and producer, Finneas O'Connell, put her in touch with director Greta Gerwig and the soundtrack's executive producer Mark Ronson.

Gerwig invited Eilish and O'Connell to a screening of the film in January, eager to commission music from the sibling duo, who previously won an Oscar for their James Bond theme song. But Eilish wasn't sure at first if she wanted to take it on.

"I had no idea what to expect. I went into it not thinking that anything would necessarily come of it. I was like, 'I just wanna see this movie,'" she explained. "I'm honored to even be thought of."

"A Barbie movie is so easy to make bad," Eilish continued. "I was like, 'Dude, is this gonna blow?' And I was like, 'It's Greta though, so it can't, but it might!' I don't know. Good people make bad stuff all the time. We've seen it."

She added: "It's a lot of pressure, because there's so much good that Barbie has done and there's so much bad that Barbie has done."

Eilish and Lowe discussed the brand's baggage, particularly the criticism Barbie has received for perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards.

Eilish even said she was "really nervous for her," referring to Gerwig, when she sat down to watch the film. But to her surprise, she loved it.

"It's a lot. So, to make a movie that's addressing all of it, and also really good, and also really funny, and also really moving, and beautiful, and cool? I mean, it was shocking," she told Lowe.

"Like, a minute in, Finneas and I looked at each other like, 'Woah. This is insane,'' she added.

The next day, the siblings were working on new music in the studio when O'Connell encouraged Eilish to write something inspired by Barbie.

"Finneas started playing piano and those first couple lyrics, 'I used to float, now I just fall down,' just came right out," she said. "'I used to know, but I'm not sure now / What I was made for.'"

The 21-year-old Grammy winner said she initially wrote the song from the doll's perspecive, but came to realize she was drawing from her own experience in the public eye.

Indeed, several songs on Eilish's sophomore album grapple with themes shared by Gerwig's version of Barbie, including objectification ("Not My Responsibility," "Overheated"), exploitation ("Goldwing," "Your Power"), existentialism ("Everybody Dies"), and feeling betrayed by a world that seems perfect from the outside ("Getting Older," "NDA").

"I was purely inspired by this movie and this character and the way I thought she would feel, and wrote about that," Eilish explained.

"The next week, I was playing it in the car all day and playing it for everybody, and I was like, 'This is exactly how I feel.' And I didn't even mean to be saying it," she continued, adding, "It's about my life."

Eilish also directed the "What Was I Made For?" music video, which draws this connection by turning Eilish's old videos and red carpet looks into miniature, doll-sized outfits.

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