Billie Eilish On Getting To See The No Time To Die Opening Early And How Landing A Bond Song Is Not So Easy

Billie EIlish No Time To Die music video
(Image credit: Universal Music )

The veil of secrecy surrounding the James Bond movies is so strong, not just anyone can pierce it. No Time To Die is a perfect example of a film that embodies that very concept, especially when taking into account the secrets that film had to hide. But  even trying to land the duties of performing a Bond song are not so easy, as Billie Eilish recently told the story of the process that led to her eventual title track. On the bright side, winning those honors meant that Eilish got to encounter a really cool perk to the job she and her collaborator/brother Finneas would secure: they got to see the film’s opening early. 

During her recent interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Eilish spilled on pretty much the entire process that went into her Academy Award nominated song. This story goes all the way back to the before times of 2019, when she had to audition to become the most recent performer to open a 007 movie. Here’s how Billie Eilish described the process of securing her place in No Time To Die history: 

Well, we made the song in October of 2019. So this was a long, long time ago. It’s a long time ago. So, 17 when we made it; I’m now 20. Interesting. Very, very weird. Yeah, it was a very long kind of strategic process. It wasn’t like, ‘You got the job, here it is.’ We were auditioning pretty much. So it was not like an ego thing. It was like, ‘It’s gotta be perfect, we’ve got to do it right.’ We auditioned and kind of just did our best and worked really hard. Barbara [Broccoli] kind of just gave us the first little bit of the script–just like the opening– just so we had a little taste. It was literally what wrote the song.

That sort of access is something to brag about, no matter who you are. Considering how careful producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are about providing information about any piece of the James Bond legacy, deciding on the right musical artist is especially important. As it turns out, Billie Eilish and Finneas were probably the best hands to put No Time To Die’s sonic signature into. 

Becoming the youngest artist to perform a James Bond theme, No Time To Die saw Billie Eilish make history in several different ways. Curiously enough this was also the first 007 song to be recorded at a home studio. But it was the vibe that composer Hans Zimmer picked up on in their music that made Billie and Finneas the obvious choice for the gig. Thinking back on how that song was only written after just experiencing the opening to the film, it's even crazier to think about how well it fits the entire movie in retrospect.

Once everything was locked into place, the insane process that yielded No Time To Die’s theme took place. Though the movie that inspired it was bumped throughout the release schedules of 2020 and 2021, that didn’t stop the song from winning a Grammy award before Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie was finally unveiled to the public. Even Craig, the man that Billie Eilish recently proclaimed a certified DILF, found his heart cracked by the theme tune he originally didn’t approve of. 

2022’s Academy Awards seems to be the end of the road so far for the 25th James Bond movie, and its theme song. Should Billie Eilish take home the gold, that finale could be as fitting as 007’s final adventure in the Daniel Craig era; only for vastly different, much happier reasons. Experience the end of the current James Bond plot arc with No Time To Die, which is currently available for rental or purchase throughout digital and physical media. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.