Billie Eilish Covers ELLE Magazine

Posted on September 23, 2021

On the heels of her sophomore album, Happier Than Ever debuting at number one around the globe, Billie Eilish covers ELLE’s October 2021 issue and opens up about directing her own videos, overcoming her fear of water for the title song’s video, feeling burned out on social media and why she doesn’t care what anyone has to say about dyeing her hair, changing her clothes, or her sexuality: “The other day, I decided to wear a tank top. It wasn’t even a provocative shirt. But I know people are going to say, ‘Holy f**k, she’s dressing sexy and trying to make a statement.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not. It’s 500 degrees and I just want to wear a tank top.’ ”

 

 

 

On directing all the music videos for her new album Happier Than Ever: In addition to writing her own songs (some with the help of her brother Finneas), she also directed all the videos. “I am a very visual person, and music videos have always been my favorite form of artistry, ever since I was a kid. Since the beginning, almost all of my videos were my own ideas. I just didn’t know that I could direct them. It’s hard to translate an idea that you have in your own head—to make somebody else understand it—and then make it come to life. Sometimes you’ve just got to do it yourself, even if it’s hard.”

On overcoming her fear of water for the title song’s video: Eilish was filmed in a dreamlike sequence escaping from a flooding house. “Water used to be my biggest fear—I was terrified of drowning and having my head stuck underwater. But I’m a daredevil. I want to do everything that scares me.” To conquer her phobia, the pop star jumped right in, literally and figuratively… With the aid of clever sets and a weighted scuba instructor who pulled her underwater, Eilish swam through the flooded house, surfacing on a constructed rooftop, holding her breath through multiple takes. “Half of the video was shot underwater. So I pretty much overcame my fear of water. It was f***ing crazy, dude.”

On how as her fame has grown, she has endured relentless scrutiny on the internet for everything from the way she dresses to whom she dates: “Or my sexuality!” she says. “Like, oh yeah, that’s everyone else’s business, right? No. Where’s that energy with men?” Like many stars who are thrust into the spotlight at a young age, she was initially blindsided by the relentless drumbeat of criticism. “I just wanted to make a song once, and then I kept making songs. I never said, ‘Hey, pay attention to my life.’ All my friends know I don’t wanna see any of [the negative chatter]. When people send me something mean, it hurts my soul.”

Eilish doesn’t want fans to overthink her hair choices, or her decision to wear more revealing clothing.“The other day, I decided to wear a tank top. It wasn’t even a provocative shirt. But I know people are going to say, ‘Holy f**k, she’s dressing sexy and trying to make a statement.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not. It’s 500 degrees and I just want to wear a tank top.’ ”

On feeling burned out on social media: “I’m jealous of people who don’t have it. I really wish that there was a way to avoid it. Literally delete my account but still have contact with the fans. I want to be able to have both, but you can’t.” She misses live touring, which is her favorite way to maintain a connection with fans.

On the inspiration for Happier Than Ever: “The album came from a lot of self-reflection. Happier Than Ever is really just me processing trauma… Making this album was cathartic and freeing.”

 

Style Credits:
Cover: Coat by Balenciaga
Image 1: Padded Poncho and Dress by Marni | Ring by Lillian Shalom | Boots by Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons
Image 2: Jacket, Dress, Pants, Hooded Turtleneck and Bucket Hat by Marc Jacobs

 

[Photo Credit: Alique/ELLE Magazine]

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