Robbie Williams: Documentary is about taking back power

Robbie Williams: Documentary is about taking back power

Robbie Williams has said his Netflix documentary is about “taking back power” after speaking about feeling a lack of control over his own narrative.

The singer and former Take That star, 49, was at the premiere of Robbie Williams on Wednesday, held at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden, London.

He told the PA news agency: “In a way, it feels like being the birthday boy, it feels like a very special occasion.

“I feel very vulnerable, because I’m yet again laying myself (out) there and oversharing about myself, in the hope that I will be seen somewhere, somehow because I’ve never been really in control of the narrative on who or what I am out there.

“So it’s a very important tool for me to have to represent myself in the best way possible.”

He also said: “It does feel like taking power, but also exploiting it for commercial gain.”

Williams also described the documentary as “quite traumatic” as he said the “most interesting bits” for public viewing would be about his mental health.

He added: “The most revealing bits are the breakdown in mental health and the addictions and the agoraphobias and the body dysmorphias and the dyslexia and the dyscalculia.

“And all of these things that have been collected, like Scout badges, and I get it. Hopefully what I reveal will make me be more human in people’s eyes.”

Agoraphobia is anxiety linked to fears of the outside world while dyslexia and dyscalculia cause issues with reading and mental arithmetic.

Body dysmorphia is when the sufferer obsessively tries to correct perceived flaws in their appearance.

Robbie Williams Netflix documentary
Robbie Williams has spoken about his struggles in the new documentary (Ian West/PA)

Williams also said that the impact of the documentary will take him time to work out what it means for him.

“I’m once again going ‘like me’ and I’m putting my head above the parapet to have people go ‘No, we still don’t’. Kick.” he added. “So who knows what this is?”

His wife, actress Ayda Field, said Williams is a “good co-communicator” in their relationship.

She said she hoped people would stop thinking of him as a “brash showman” and a “peacock” who is “arrogant”.

Field said: “I’d really like them to understand the man because the man is a really kind man.

Robbie Williams Netflix documentary
Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field (Ian West/PA)

“Also with his mental health and his struggles and his openness with addiction, I really hope if someone’s watching this docuseries and it resonates for them and it helps them and kind of gives them some comfort that other people, people who are famous, also struggle on that.

“There is a beautiful story and a beautiful ending that’s possible.”

She also said: “The actual process of shooting, it was very emotional. Rob would kind of be locked in a room for 14 hours, and then walk out looking like he’d seen a ghost and quite fragile, and the kids would not understand what was happening.

“And I didn’t really know the extent of what he was watching so I can only kind of, cheerleading from the side and kind of build him up and think we would just kind of hold hands and watch reality TV and make things better for the next day, and it’s weird that it’s finally here, because we’ve had to live through it.”

Robbie Williams is a limited series that will be released on Netflix on November 8.