It’s a worry that Cutler doesn’t quite share, having spent the time he did with Eilish, her brother and creative collaborator Finneas O’Connell, and parents Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, all of whom are ever-present in both the doc and her life in general.
“I don’t know anything about Britney Spears outside of admiring her work. But, I do know a lot about Billie and I know that she has a tremendous support system and infrastructure,” Cutler told E! News just hours before the film’s Feb. 25 premiere. “I mean, her mom says it outright—it’s not implied or suggested or hinted at in the film, it’s a subject of the film. The fact that Billie’s parents are with her all the time, that she is surrounded by family all the time, in large part to help give her the tools and the resources to avoid pitfalls that are common to young people when they become a successful and as famous as she’s become so quickly and so early in her life and career.”
That said, there are still moments in the film that point to the sometimes suffocating trappings of fame. There’s the aforementioned meet-and-greet seemingly full of older men, the reasoning being they have connections to the record label or radio stations that play her music. Eilish, furious with her team and her mother for allowing it to happen, later likens the experience to having been “thrown to the wolves.”
Immediately afterwards, we watch as an undulating mass of fans makes it so that her vehicle can barely drive down a New York City street, each face in the crowd vying for a moment to get close to the car window and snap a photo with their idol. They’re everywhere she goes, even at her arrival gate in an Australian airport. They’re adoring, sure, but also somewhat oppressive.