The character played by Billie Eilish in the black comedy series “Swarm” was inspired by an actual cult.
Eilish’s casting announcement sparked a lot of excitement among fans, and her performance helped make the episode one of the most popular in the series, created by Janine Nabers and Donald Glover.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nabers revealed that Eilish’s character was based on the notorious NXIVM cult and its leader, Keith Raniere, who was recently sentenced to 120 years in prison for sex trafficking.
Nabers explained that the episode was intended to explore the idea of celebrity and the power of the mind, rather than focusing on worshiping a particular artist or group.
In “Swarm,” Eilish plays Eva, the leader of a female empowerment cult who takes Dre, a young woman obsessed with a pop star, under her wing. The show follows Dre (played by Dominique Fishback) as his obsession with the pop star takes a dark turn.
“Swarm” premiered on March 17, 2023, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.