Black Mirror writers Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones discussed the new series and explained how they managed to get Miley Cyrus onboard.
The fifth series of Black Mirror is one of Stylist’s top ten Netflix picks for June. With pop icon Miley Cyrus, Fleabag’s Andrew Scott and Avengers: Endgame’s Pom Klementieff starring in the three new episodes – we’re confident that the dystopic TV series will not disappoint.
The trailer for Scott’s episode dropped earlier this week, showing the former “hot priest from Fleabag” in a very different role. Playing a driver for an Uber-like service, Scott’s passenger (Damson Idris) reveals that he works for a corporation named Smithereens. Scott then makes a detour and takes Idris hostage using a gun. It’s an experience that many of us fear thanks to bad Uber experiences, so it will no doubt cut close to the bone – like all the best Black Mirror episodes do.
But, the episode featuring Miley Cyrus is the one that has really piqued people’s interest.
Watch the trailer for Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too starring Miley Cyrus
How did writers Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones manage to get one of the world’s biggest music artists onboard with the cult hit TV show?
Without giving too much away about Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too, Cyrus plays global popstar Ashley O who releases an AI version of herself. Although they didn’t have her in mind when first coming up with the idea for the episode, Brooker and Jones approached Cyrus after writing the script – assuming she wouldn’t want to take part. But Cyrus was VERY into it.
“She read the script and, as you can imagine, there were quite a few things in the script that she could identify with,” revealed Jones at a press screening of the episode. “She’s got a very sarcastic sense of humour – she’s very acerbic and very funny. And she delights in subverting things. Her whole career has been about the Disney popstar who tries to carve out her own identity and as a result she has faced a lot of opposition from her label and her fans. So, she’s been on that journey and she said, ‘We’re going to have a lot of fun with this’.”
Brooked added: “I think she said, ‘Oh it will piss people off and pissing people off is kind of my thing.”
The writers also said that Cyrus had a lot of input when it came to filming the episode. Brooker recalled one of the worrying reasons Cyrus chose to take part, saying: “She made an appearance on stage with some act that was aimed at an older generation. I don’t know who it was, like The Grateful Dead, or a band like that of a different era. And she went on stage and looked out at this massive auditorium and no one was filming it on a phone and they were all looking at her – and she hadn’t seen that for like ten years. A sea of human faces, that affected her quite a bit.”
Jones added an even more chilling observation on music and technology made by Cyrus, explaining: “She was saying, ‘Does it matter if I’m on stage or if a hologram is on stage?’ No one is looking’.” Jones continued: “Things are going on in her industry that she’s very aware of.”
Fans will have to wait until 5 June to binge all three episodes on Netflix.