Following the Feb. 5 release of the New York Times’ Hulu documentary, Framing Britney Spears, theories about the singer playing a secret role in production circulated online. But in a recent interview with Glamour, two of the filmmakers behind the project addressed the rumors and suggested that fans didn’t have it quite right.
On TikTok and Twitter, conspiracy theorists pointed out that Spears had previously used the phrase "Project Rose" to refer to a "personal photo project" she had in the works. When they observed that the documentary prominently featured floral, rose-covered backdrops, the connection was posited: Could the documentary itself actually be Project Rose? Is Framing Britney a covert way for Spears to speak out without directly doing so?
According to director Samantha Stark and senior editor Liz Day, the rosy scenery was actually just a stylistic choice based on Spears' penchant for flowers on Instagram and the rose-shaped soap bath video that the doc concludes with. "I’ll tell you what happened. We filmed this entire thing during COVID; in order to be COVID safe, we had to film outside," Stark explained to Glamour. She continued:
"If these interviews are going to be outside, I wanted that to be a motivated, stylistic decision. I didn’t want people randomly outside. I had been looking at Britney’s Instagram a lot, and I noticed Britney loves roses. There are so many posts with pictures of roses and also so many posts of her holding flowers. There’s also this greenery, backyard feel to a lot of her posts. I really wanted the documentary to live in the world of that. I had this rose wall built for the fans, because I was trying to make the amount of roses reflect their relationship to Britney. We did some interviews, and then Britney posted about Project Rose. That is the order of events. That’s what happened."
Day echoed the idea that the documentary had nothing to do with Project Rose. "I don’t know that we know much more about Project Rose, but are excited to see what Britney wants to reveal about it," she said.
However, when asked by the interviewer if the pair could conclusively say they "had no support from Britney Spears" and "there was not some underground communication that she was giving you her support," Stark didn't offer a completely outright answer. "We are not saying anything. I just told you the sequence of the events. Yes," she said.