Although she had already begun documenting her 2019 breakout, when Live Nation asked her to be the subject of a documentary, pop-rap superstar Lizzo said, “We didn’t really know what it was going to be about. I was afraid it would be boring.” Three years, two Grammy-winning albums, and a historic Emmy-winning reality competition series later, her Max movie, “Love, Lizzo,” proved her life was no different.
She looks cozy on a long brown leather couch in a Burbank studio, wearing an all-black Yitty ensemble preview on Instagram an hour before the interview, Lizzo told IndieWire that the original concept for her documentary was to capture footage of her planning her 2019 Coachella and VMA sets (a process inspired by Prime Video’s “Watch Out For The Big Grrls” series). and bring in director Doug Pray (“Hype!”) to help tell his origin story and film the lead-up to the Houston Rodeo’s massive homecoming.
“And then the COVID lockdown happened and Doug just came in and said, ‘This is a completely different documentary now,’” Lizzo said. Canceling live performances, including a rodeo show, the musician worked on “Special,” the follow-up to his RIAA-certified platinum LP debut. “I really have to give Doug Pray a lot of credit. We just have loads of footage of me – some of it can be really boring,” he said with a laugh. But he made this amazing documentary that tells my story, but also documents the high I was on in 2019-2020, about the COVID lockdown and how it changed me as a person making The Special . , which I think is very difficult to do. And he pulled it off really well.”
Simply put, Lizzo starts the movie in a one bedroom, bathroom rental in Silver Lake and ends the movie in the first house she ever bought. But “Love, Lizzo,” an Emmy contender for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction, also shows how the stakes rise as the spotlight gets brighter. “(As) my profile rose a little bit more, I got a lot of public backlash and the public started to get mad at me,” Lizzo said. Not only does the film address concerns about her weight (which again caused her to briefly lock down her Twitter account the day before her conversation with IndieWire), but also some criticism from the black community that she’s just focusing. about making music for a white audience.
“People don’t really know how talented I am and how much blood, sweat and tears I put into it. It was actually very empowering to sit there and say, “Okay, well, I want you to come and watch me get on this plane from Austin and fly to LA, get off this plane and go straight to to the studio and master. my album, no sleep,” said the star. “I think the exact words to the doc team were, ‘I need people to respect my name.’
Although it’s all told in good humor, Lizzo takes her artistic abilities very seriously, so filming the making of “Special” suited her goals. “I want the world to know how I come up with lyrics and melodies and how I produce and why I have executive producer Lizzo on my albums and how hard I work and how little I sleep and how much I care. about the people and my team,” he said. “And I wanted to document that, not just for the world to see, but to look back on as a journal in the future.”
He added: “It’s good to document it because I do some pretty legendary stuff and I want to be able to look back one day and say, ‘Wow, that’s how it happened.’ Because I like to look back at videos of Bob Mackie and Cher and I’m like, “Wow, they put this look together,” and in the moment I’m like, “Oh, this is just my outfit for today. ‘ But 20 years later, it’s an iconic reference. That way, you never know what kind of iconoclast you’re creating.”
Lizzo thought getting the HBO concert special was instantly iconic, especially since it coincided with the documentary. “They said, ‘Would you give us a doc and a special concert?’ And I said, “Yeah, we can do anything,” he said angrily. “I got the package, baby!” I prepared for it.”
The Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Taped) captures the final night of the first leg of her Emmy Award-winning “Lizzo: Live In Concert” special tour, filmed by Done+Dusted in Los Angeles. “They came to a bunch of shows before the show to understand how I move on stage, all the angles and hangs. And we got SZA, Cardi B, and Missy Elliott. Like what?! It’s just the coolest people and we’re putting on a show that I’m really proud of,” Lizzo said. “I want to do more, because I’ll tell you, my albums are good, but my live show is even better. And really people get it when they see you live.”
But Lizzo’s TV takeover didn’t stop there. Since winning the Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program last September for the first streaming series of “Watch Out For The Big Grrls,” Lizzo has guest-starred on the latest seasons of “The Mandalorian” and “The Simpsons,” both series. nominated her for an Emmy Award in the categories of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series and Outstanding Character Voice Acting. “It’s like, ‘Okay, our first foray into television, we won an Emmy, so let’s keep doing TV.’ But that is not the case at all,” he said.
After being recruited into the Star Wars franchise by her late father, Lizzo joked that she “exploded into confetti” when she got a call from “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau. However, the Season 3 episode “Guns For Hire”, in which she plays Princess Plazir opposite her on-screen husband Jack Black, was filmed before her Emmy. Similarly, the producers of The Simpsons had been aware for some time that he was a fan willing to collaborate, but the script had to be just right, and they came to us with such a perfect script, Lizzo said. The voice of the magical elf Goobie-Woo, who guides Homer through his relationship with Marge on “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the FOX star’s 750th episode, “was all well-timed and creative. We just went for it and everything fell together.”
“I never in a million years thought I’d be on TV like this, but here I am,” Lizzo said of her big TV year. More importantly, he was able to incorporate his musicianship into all of this. “Music will always be my number one priority, and my home and everything I do is connected to my music in some way,” the “About Damn Time” singer said. “I even played the flute in the background in ‘The Mandalorian,’ which was pretty cool. And Goobie-Woo and Homer sang and Sasha Flute was in the episode. While grateful for her TV work, Lizzo appreciates that her art is not limited to that. “I don’t feel that way need to watch TV. I only do it when I want to and when it’s good and when I feel like it. Let’s stay in reality.”
Quoting the immortal words of a Blue Ivy, Lizzo said: “I’m really just dreaming bigger and taking the ceiling off my goals – like I’ve never seen a ceiling in my entire life.” So yes, he thought about getting the other two awards he would need for the EGOT. “I’m very talented and I can do anything to be at the Tonys. In high school, I wrote musicals based on the operas favored by Rossini and Russian romantic composers,” Lizzo said. “When it comes to the Oscars, I love movies and I’ve actually composed music for movies. Even after the release of the Barbie movie, it is very exciting – no need to jump to conclusions.
For him, talent and self-determination are not the point, but finding a goal. “If I do things just for the sake of doing them, it’s not going to work. It won’t feel good. It will not work. And I think at the core of everything I do, it has to resonate with me and it has to resonate with me and it has to be meaningful and it has to do something for the world,” Lizzo said. Plus, “You know I’ll be extra. Whatever I do, I make it, I work on it behind the scenes, I stay up until 2 a.m. sweating on it. That’s the only way this shit matters to me. So can I win an EGOT? I’m talented as hell. Yes. This is the goal? I think projects are the first goal. Passion comes first. And we’ll see.”