Charlie Brooker says Black Mirror’s Miley Cyrus episode might ‘piss some people off’
Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker is promising that season five’s ‘Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too’ – an episode fronted by Miley Cyrus – is quite unlike anything the show’s produced in the past.
Brooker suggested at a recent press screening for the Netflix series that the episode’s “romp-y tone” might take viewers by surprise, and even irritate a few.
“I think people expect Black Mirror to be somebody frowning at a phone until their life falls apart, so it’s quite nice to occasionally up-end that,” Brooker said.
“We always know that some episodes are going to piss people off – and that some people are going to appreciate one type of story more than another. [But] if we just kept doing nihilistically bleak stories, then it just becomes very predictable.”
‘Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too’ sees a lonely teenager (Angourie Rice) yearning to connect with her favourite popstar, (Cyrus) whose charmed existence isn’t quite as rosy it appears…
“[The tone] really depends on what the story is that we’re trying to tell,” Brooker explained.
“It suited this [to go lighter]… there were so many big flavours and elements in it that it made sense to take it in that direction. Sometimes we like to go a bit Pixar and other times we like to go a bit Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It really depends on our whim!”
Executive producer Annabel Jones added: “There are lots of dark concepts in the film and we just enjoyed a childish subversion of them.”
Cyrus herself has described the episode as being about “females in the music industry”.
“I understand everyone’s gone through this but I do think for females in the industry… it’s hard to be taken seriously. People assume that if you’re not wearing a body suit and singing pop music, why would anyone want to see you?”
Brooker joked at the press screening: “After the script was written, we were discussing who could play the part of an international popstar, and we thought in a dream world it’d be somebody like Miley Cyrus, but we also thought that was f**king stupid talk.
“But we also figured that we had nothing to lose by trying to get the script to her. Apart from our pride. But we thought we would just be ignored, to be honest. But it turned out that she’d seen the show and liked it, and liked the script.”
Black Mirror will be launching three new episodes on Netflix on Wednesday, June 5 – ‘Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too’, ‘Striking Vipers’ featuring Anthony Mackie, and ‘Smithereens’ with Andrew Scott.