Vanity Fair asked Billie Eilish the same questions three years in a row: Watch the video
In a video titled “Billie Eilish: Same Interview, The Third Year” (above), released Monday afternoon, Vanity Fair serves up a low-key meditation on the evolution of fame and celebrity persona—while also offering a meta, media-about-media exercise that calls to mind Michael Apted’s groundbreaking “Up” documentary series.
Sometimes we see Eilish in a three-way split screen, other times we see her watching her earlier self on an inset video, but the throughline of the piece is her remarkable self-possession and understated star power even when she was 15 years old, in October 2017, when the first interview was conducted.
Questions like “How many Instagram followers do you have?” (257,000, then 6.3 million, then 40.7 million) prompt the same wonder and borderline shock each time. Sometimes her answers are very different (e.g., in response to “Do you feel pressure?”—which this year, intriguingly, prompts “Performing in front of 80,000 people is way easier than performing in front of eight people”). And sometimes we find out just how scary rabid fandom can be (in response to “Is there anything that annoys you now that didn’t a year ago?,” Eilish tells of being manhandled when she comes in contact with the overexcited audience at her concerts).
Incidentally, speaking of rabid fandom, as of this writing the most upvoted comment on the YouTube version of this video is “Who is here before 1 million?”—i.e., who saw the video before it (inevitably) went viral? For the record, we first started watching the video within 10 minutes of its release on YouTube (thanks to a Vanity Fair alert) when it had a couple thousand views. By the time we finished viewing it, it had more than 30,000 views. And as we’re about hit the “publish” button on this post, it’s up to 224,266 views.