Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) and Lily-Rose Depp have continued to dismiss reports of a toxic environment surrounding the production of their forthcoming, Sam Levinson-directed HBO drama series The Idol. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Depp refers to the atmosphere on set as a “lighthearted” one with “lots of laughs… music, dancing around, and that kind of energy.”
Elsewhere in the interview, she discusses the varying acting processes of the show’s cast, which also includes Suzanna Son, Jane Adams, Dan Levy, Eli Roth, Rachel Sennott, Hari Nef, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Hank Azaria, as well Moses Sumney, Mike Dean, Troye Sivan, Ramsey, and BLACKPINK’s Jennie.
“I don’t think anybody went full method — nobody lost their minds,” she says. “Well, sometimes when Abel would get — I don’t want to reveal too much about where Abel’s character goes, but when he would be in full Tedros mode sometimes, I would steer clear of him. I’d be like, ‘He’s in his zone right now.’”
Tesfaye himself detailed the toll his character Tedros took on his career as the Weeknd during The Idol’s filming in last month’s W cover story. “I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’s wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being the Weeknd,” he told W’s Lynn Herschberg. “It was tough to go from one head to another. Then, after the concert, I lost my voice. No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before.”
The latter comment refers to a show Tesfaye cut short in Los Angeles last September. He resumed his “After Hours Till Dawn” tour just two days later. “My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing,” he added. “I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying. As the Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert. I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage. But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.”
The Idol’s first episode debuts on Max this coming Sunday, June 4. The series’ first two episodes premiered at Cannes late last month to “polite applause.” Its Rotten Tomatoes score currently sits at 25 percent.
Earlier today (June 2), Tesfaye shared a new sample of the show’s soundtrack: an extremely rare joint track from The Weeknd, Madonna, and Playboi Carti titled “Popular.” It follows the first taste from The Idol’s musical menu — an April Weeknd/Future collab called “Double Fantasy.”