Billie Eilish’s ‘Swarm’ role was inspired by a real-life cult leader

The singer-songwriter recently made her acting debut in Donald Glover's new Amazon Prime Video series

The real-life inspiration behind Billie Eilish‘s role in the Donald Glover-written and produced Amazon Prime Video series, Swarm, has been revealed.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Swarm’s co-writer and producer Janine Nabers revealed that the role – Eilish’s first – was inspired by the infamous Hollywood-adjacent cult NXIVM and its leader Keith Raniere.

In Swarm, Eilish stars as Eva, the young executive director of a female empowerment group that later is revealed to be a cult.


“There is a cult that existed in the world that was very prominent during that time,” Nabers told The Hollywood Reporter. “And that is the kind of true-crime element to that episode. And I think that 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. 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.”

The show’s protagonist is played by Dominique Fishback who added, saying Eilish was “respectful of the craft” and “came in with ideas, wanting to talk about it, being game to rehearse.”

Set between 2016 and 2018, Swarm follows Dre (Dominique Fishback), a fan of the fictional music icon Ni’Jah, whose love for her favorite singer crosses the line from obsessive to murderous.

Swarm is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video now.

You May Like