I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story

Out Now On-Demand

Australian filmmaker Jessica Leski's debut feature documentary tells the stories of four women whose love of boybands changed their lives forever.

"Melbourne filmmakers Jessica Leski and Rita Walsh interviewed three generations of fangirls. The women are not, as you might expect, hysterical and hormonal teenagers. They are obsessive, sure, but also insightful and vulnerable. Their ages reflect the bands they adore: the oldest of the quartet being a fan of the Fab Four. The youngest, Elif, lives at home with parents who fail to appreciate her One Direction devotion. Sydneysider and Take That fangirl Dara can’t understand her own obsession with heartthrob Gary Barlow. Loving a boyband has helped the women through difficult times, and shaped their relationships, faiths and sexuality. Ultimately though, they’ve all found joy in the fandom world." (Sydney Film Festival)


Directed by

Documentary, Festival & Independent


Rating: Exempt

Australia, USA

FilmInk (Australia)


Entertaining and insightful, this is a must-see for anyone with an interest in celebrity and the subtle (and not so subtle) workings of fandom.

Screen International


The women each watch their favourite music video and narrate their highlights, offering a particularly open and sincere look at lifelong obsessions - and giving the feature the earnest touch that serves it so well.

Sydney Morning Herald


It becomes gently clear that for each woman, boy-band love has been painful and sustaining. No one else understands the purity of it, the acute longing or the singularity each girl feels.