BLACKPINK Pulls Back the Curtain on Fame in New Netflix Doc 'Light Up the Sky'
By Meredith B. Kile
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BLACKPINK is opening up like never before in the new Netflix documentary, BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky, where the mega-popular K-pop girl group gets candid about their early days, worldwide fame, and the pressures of life in the spotlight.
The film, directed by Caroline Suh, follows the group -- Rosé, Lisa, Jennie and Jisoo -- during a major time in their career, culminating with their history-making performance at Coachella last spring. However, it also pulls back the curtain on the K-pop industry, allowing a look back at the girls' early training years and permitting them to get candid about the ups and downs of musical stardom.
"The thing is, you can never tell how long it will last," Rosé shares candidly in one moment.
Many K-pop performers start young, as teenagers, and undergo years of rigorous training -- singing, dancing, and even media practice -- before they are launched onto the public scene. (Rosé admits diplomatically that some of those years of training weren't "a happy vibe.") It has undeniably altered the course of the BLACKPINK stars' lives, and even now, at the height of their careers, in their early 20s, they admit to missing out on certain moments.
"A lot of people make memories as a high school student," Jennie notes. "But I never had that."
Suh also captured some candid moments with the group in a movie theater, where they reflected on old footage of home movies, early performances and their auditions for management company YG.
"I used to do a lot of dark and strong songs," Jennie recalls in one of those scenes. "So I often wonder, 'What am I doing now?'"
BLACKPINK spoke with ET's Denny Directo ahead of the release of the documentary and their first full-length Korean-language album, titled simply The Album, where they shared why they thought now was the right time to share these personal moments with fans.
"In the beginning of our debut...we wanted to be very sure about the content that we put out -- and make sure to not let anyone see our flaws, maybe," Lisa noted. "But I think we've come to a point where we're kind of laid-back and [ready to] share the unfiltered, real versions of us to the world...just be like, 'This is how we started, and this is why and how we got here.'"
"[We're] just ready to be vulnerable," Rosé agreed. "It was about time that they get stuff like that."
Suh also spoke with ET about getting a rare look at the inner workings of one of the world's most popular and guarded industries.
"Pretty early on, they seemed to be very candid and open," she said of the group. "And obviously, they have a ton of media training, but we were filming them in a different style. We were kind of a fly on the wall. So, I think it just felt different to them, and maybe that's why they were more open than a lot of celebrities might be."
"I think there's the idea that the companies are very controlling, but in the instance of this film, whenever we would have a request for filming, [YG] would say, 'Well, ask the members themselves and see if they want to do it.' They really stepped back and let us do what was real."
The final moments of the film are certainly real -- and indicative of the heights this massively successful group has ascended, even as they continue to climb -- as the group take the stage at Coachella, becoming the first K-pop girl group ever to do so. Rosé told ET it was a "life-changing moment."
"It's definitely a moment that we'll never forget," Lisa agreed. "It was one of the important steps that we took last year to make us into better artists and better selves."
BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky is streaming now on Netflix.
See more from ET's interview with the group in the video below!