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Billie Eilish and Finneas Talk Taking “Jackson Pollock” With “What Was I Made For?” from barbie


GettyImages 2006040272 e1708385972352 300x300 - Billie Eilish and Finneas Talk Taking "Jackson Pollock" With "What Was I Made For?"  from barbie

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“The movie allowed us to be honest in a way that I don't think we would have been able to if it hadn't been for… if it hadn't been like a chore,” Billie Eilish says of writing the tearful, moving film. Barbie ballad “What was I made for?”

While it's meant to be the aortic soul song for Warner Bros.' summer blockbuster, the tune is quintessential Eilish and her brother/collaborator Finneas O'Connell: self-reflective, piercing, poetic, and downright emotional . How can you not burst into tears when listening to it? No wonder “What Was I Made For?” won Song of the Year at the Grammys (one of two trophies besides Best Song Written for Visual Media). Let's write it again: the song won Song of the Year, beating out “Flowers” ​​(Miley Cyrus), “Dance the Night” (Dua Lipa, also from Barbie), “Vampire” (Olivia Rodrigo), “Butterfly” (Jon Batiste), “A&W” (Lana Del Rey), “Kill Bill” (SZA) and “Anti-Hero” (Taylor Swift). More evidence that Eilish and O'Connell are on track to win the Oscar for their second original song after 2022's “No Time to Die” from the 007 film of the same name.

Eilish, expounding on her moody inspiration for “What Was It Made For?” says: “It was a dark period in life and a very uninspiring period and in many ways like I didn't feel excited about the future and no hope for the future, and not looking forward.”

“It was something deeply important for my life, and also for Finneas and my creative life; “We needed something to take us back to the world of creativity.”

You can listen to Eilish and O'Connell's conversation with us on Deadline's Crew Call below:

After the duo were shown approximately half an hour of initial footage of Barbie, O'Connell details how director and co-writer Greta Gerwig guided the duo toward writing what would be the film's climactic song.

“She gave us, in fact said the word 'carte blanche.' She said, you guys can do whatever you want. I think it was kind of a master class in how to get what you want with generosity. I think she made us feel that any idea we had was valuable to her. Whatever desire we wanted to pursue was the right path to follow.”

He continues: “And then she slipped under the hotel door and said, 'If you feel like doing Barbie's heart song, we're missing out,' which is very clever, whether it was on purpose or simply because she is like that. a pure person, that's a very clever way of communicating with a person where you say, “No rules, this is what I'm looking for.” And that's a great way to approach any collaboration. “I’ve tried to internalize that and do it with other people I work with.”

At the moment the song plays in the film, when Barbie meets her creator, Ruth Handler (Rhea Perlman) pays a particular tribute to Eilish herself: the scene is filled with nostalgic images of the girls' childhoods, a sequence which is similar to an interlude in The Eilish Concerts where she plays home videos of herself during the song “Getting Older”

In regards to the process of writing “What Was I Made For?” Don't ask the duo to deconstruct:

When it came to finding the first chord of the song, O'Connell says, “Are you familiar with Jackson Pollock? He talked about making what he called automatic art, which was that if he made this kind of paint splatter that's so amazing…if he thought about where he was moving his arm, he wouldn't make the art he wanted. do. It was letting his arms move and splash the paint where he wanted it to splash. “It’s really important in music to do that, to not think about it too much.”

Says Eilish: “Finneas doesn't think too much when it comes to playing instruments, which I think is very, very important. He just sits down and plays whatever he plays, and it's amazing.”

The duo also talk about their family connection with Barbie (her father was a carpenter for toy maker Mattel) and what the future holds (Clue according to Eilish: “no more movie songs… let's enter album land.”)

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