Billie Eilish’s Creepy Character in ‘Swarm’ Is Inspired by a Real Cult Leader

Savey Wangkit Lepcha
Savey Wangkit Lepcha
Billie Eilish acting debute in Swarm

Swarm is a  Psychological horror thriller series co-created by Janine Nabers and co-executive by Donald Glover. The series involves several star appearances, including Paris Jackson and Rory Culkin. But in episode four’s celebrity guest star, Grammy-winning Billie Eilish, has produced one of the series’ most buzzed-about performances.

Billie Eilish Character as a Cult Leader

Billie Eilish is making her acting debut in Swarm. According to Swarm casting director Carmen Cuba suggested  Billie Eilish was perfect for the character of Eva.  Naber and Cuba say ‘Wow, she’s so cool and  amazing!” and “She was wonderful!”

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There are a number of cults close to Hollywood, most notably the NXIVM cult. According to Nabers, Billie’s characterization as Eva is an inspiration of the cult’s leader Keith Raniere. He received a 120-year jail term and a $1,750,000 fine for a notorious sex-trafficking case.

About NXIVM, Nabers says, “There is a cult that existed in the globe that was quite prominent at 2018 time”.  “The episode’s true-crime component is of the following type. And I believe that when people think of artists or celebrities, they tend to conjure up images of the Taylor Swift cult, the Beatles cult, or some other such phenomenon. We were most interested in simply observing someone worshipping at the altar of “something,” as well as in studying the concept of the “cult of the mind.”


Swarm Storyline

Swarm, which takes place between 2016 and 2018, centers on Dre (Dominique Fishback). Who is an obsessive fan of the fictional Beyoncé-like music queen “Ni’Jah” Dre’s devotion to her idol crosses the line of obsession to murder. She travels throughout the country, meets a variety of people, and commits several crimes.

Dre travels to watch her favorite artist perform at Bonnaroo without a wristband and kills several opponents in the name of her idol. But she is stopped by a racist police officer in Tennessee while trying to leave the state.
A young white lady helps her while she is attempting to get him off her back at a gas station.  Dre then follows her to a complex where other appearing kind ladies are waiting for her. Eva, played by Eilish, is the leader of the gang, but underneath her kind exterior lies something far worse.

Eva claims she “feels so connected” to Dre and that she is “part of the tribe now”. As Dre spends more time there, it becomes obvious that Eva’s setup is more of a cult than a community. The colors and body brands worn by the women are the same. The executive director of the “female empowerment” organization, Eva, holds training and therapy sessions with Dre, who is drawn in during a trek.

Ultimately, Eva’s seductive atmosphere turns sinister, and her attempts to manipulate Ni’Jah’s biggest fan turn into sinister threats. As Dre starts to doubt the ladies she is surrounded by. Dre says it’s time to move on, even if Eva disagrees. After their unsuccessful attempts to isolate her through meditation sessions, confiscating her phone, and washing the blood from one of her killings out of her car’s backseat.


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