Is Swarm’s Andrea Greene Inspired by a Real Serial Killer?

Prime Video’s ‘Swarm’ is a twisted tale of obsession that leads its protagonist down a dangerous path. Dre loves Ni’Jah. She is obsessed with the pop star and dreams of someday meeting and befriending her. She lives in a dream which is what makes her real-life very difficult. After tragedy strikes, Dre finds her more alone than ever. She starts tracking down people who have tweeted bad things about Ni’Jah and kills them. Despite her being a character on TV, there is something very relatable about Dre, which might make you wonder if the creators of the show have based on a real person. Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Dre is Not Based on an Actual Serial Killer

No, Dre is not based on a real serial killer. She is a fictional character created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers for the Prime Video series. While Glover had been considering the idea of making a show about an obsessed fan who takes a darker turn, he saw a tweet that said: “Why does every Black woman on TV have to be a therapist or a funny best friend or someone looking for love or a teacher? We can be crazy. We can be serial killers too.”

Image Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/Prime Video

Noticing that the stories of serial killers are generally reserved for white men, Glover and Nabers decided to break that pattern and create a serial killer of their own. “We wanted to take some of that white male energy and channel it into a Black woman who gives zero f—s,” Nabers said. Instead of showing Dre as entirely evil, they played with the idea of an anti-hero, in the lines of Don Draper and Tony Soprano, seen “through the lens of a Black, modern-day woman.”

Calling Dre “very much an alien in any situation she’s put in,” Nabers explained music’s role in her story. “Every person in the world has some sort of connection to music. So that was a very strong way in which we wanted to lead the audience into this character. The language she speaks is this star’s mythology,” she said. Seeing just how invested fans can be in the lives and art of their favorite celebrities, they made Dre an exaggerated version of the stans known to become aggressive on social media.

The creators of Dre looked toward characters like Erika from ‘The Piano Teacher.’ They also studied serial killers and characters known for their moral ambiguity. “I think a lot of those characters that we call iconic [rely] on their dangerousness and in their charisma and the power to hold space,” the co-creator of the series added. Actress Dominique Fishback, who plays Dre, revealed that she watched movies like ‘Monster,’ ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ to prepare for the role.

Image Credits: Quantrell D. Colbert/Prime Video

To add more authenticity to the character, the writers looked toward real-life events that they could incorporate into Dre’s story. Instead of creating some bizarre fictional thing that she does, they opted to search for similar things that have happened in real-life to make Dre’s actions more believable to the audience. For example, in one scene, Dre ends up biting Ni’Jah. This is a direct reference to the incident that happened with Beyoncé, who serves as the inspiration for Ni’Jah, at an after-party of Jay-Z’s concert.

Similarly, in one episode, Dre is so amazed by Ni’Jah in a concert that she runs to the stage to meet the singer she has worshipped as a goddess all these years. This incident is similar to what happened in August 2018 at a concert where Beyoncé and Jay-Z performed together. These details confirm that while Dre might be a fictional character, the creators of ‘Swarm’ have made sure to make her as realistic as possible.

Read More: Is Ni’Jah Based on a Real Pop Star? Is She Based on Beyoncé?