Halsey’s ‘If I Can’t Have Love…’ Filmmakers on Challenges and Rewards of a Semi-Feature-Length Movie and Pregnant Star

Chris Willman

October 25, 2021

Colin Tilley, the film’s director, and Jamee Ranta, its executive producer (who also took on the role of creative/line producer), talked with Variety about a Prague shoot that was obviously very different from the many music videos they’ve worked on together (including numerous ones for Justin Bieber’s latest album, “Justice,” like the Diane Keaton-starring “Ghost”).

Amid the questions about what Grammy categories Halsey belongs in with her increasingly alternative-leaning music, there’s at least one division where she’ll likely be in contention that cuts across all genres: best music film. She starred in and wrote “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power,” a 50-minute film that premiered in IMAX theaters Aug. 26 and had its streaming bow on HBO Max Oct. 7. The movie tells a narrative about a expectant queen who falls afoul of her country’s ruling class, with plenty of interstitial silences — pregnant pauses, if you will — and a few bits of dialogue to further set apart a highly ambitious project that had Halsey’s own second-term pregnancy as both a challenge and a boon in filming.