The concept is pretty simple: a celebrity sits at one end of a dolly while answering increasingly personal questions as the camera moves closer to her face. That sums up Vanity Fair’s “Slow Zoom” video series, whose latest subject is Billie Eilish.
In the nearly 20-minute video interrogation that went up alongside her Vanity Fair cover story on Monday (Jan. 25) Eilish gamely offered her thoughts on identity’s are, family and work as the lens creeps into her personal space.
After getting her yawns out, Eilish said other than not getting much sleep she’s been pretty good during the pandemic and is glad she was able to celebrate her 18th birthday last year before everything shut down with a blow-out party that included a bouncy house. “It was the probably one of the best nights of my life,” she laughed of the evening that ended with a run to Taco Bell.
Now that she’s legal and can drive and vote, Eilish’s other life goals are pretty modest, like making a Costco run on her own, going to Home Depot, you know, “grown-up s–t.” That apparently includes her favorite peaceful activities: taking a bath and hitting the highway alone and driving 120 m.p.h. in her muscle car. “It’s a specific kind of peace, but it is a kind of peace,” she said, as her mom said off-camera that she wasn’t worried about any of the answers except the need for speed one.
But when they asked what she’s afraid of, Eilish took a long pause and said she’s worried about her loved one’s wellbeing and health more than anything. But if you want to know what she hopes the world will look like when she’s 80, well, “girl, I’m not gonna life til 80!” she said. “None of us are. Are you kidding we have like 10 years left!”
But if she does and if we do, she hopes that everyone starts to really pay attention to the environment and people just “shut the f–k up sometimes.” As the camera really started to get close, Eilish said she felt most trapped when she was in a “very emotionally abusive” relationship, before describing fame as “overwhelming… surreal and shocking” and saying the best part is having a platform to get her ideas out.
And, believe it or not, Eilish felt the most vulnerable the week after she won five Grammy Awards at the 2019 event. “Because I had just lived through an unbelievable experience and I was filled with joy and excitement and shock and disbelief,” she said. “Getting compliments left and right and at the same time the entire internet was telling me I didn’t deserve it. So it was a weird week.”
It’s great and all, but don’t wish you were Billie Eilish. “It’s not what you think and also you don’t want to be anyone but yourself,” she said. “You want to be you. You have your life and that’s such a blessing to have your own life… and you can also make your life what you want it to be.”
But perhaps the most important question came toward the end: what do you love most about a mosh pit? “The freedom,” Eilish said, pining for the pre-COVID days when we could all smash together in sweaty clubs and arenas. “Oh my God, I haven’t felt that since I’ve been in one. But… I always felt that a mosh pit is just like a bunch of motherf–kers that don’t care. I love it. I love it. Nobody’s looking at you. Nobody’s f–king judging whatever you got going on. It’s just… energy and I love that. There is nothing like that.”
And, for the record, her favorite Beatles songs are “Something,” “Julia,” “You Never Give Me Your Money, ” “Anna (Go To Him)” and “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” The “Slow Zoom” series has previously zeroed in on everyone from RuPaul to Hasan Minhaj and Tyra Banks.
Watch Eilish’s “Slow Zoom” interview below.