The Weeknd Downplays ‘Ridiculous’ Media Reports About ‘The Idol’

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In a new expanding cover story Show Fair, weekend talks about the dark rumors surrounding the upcoming HBO series”Idoland he speaks widely of what will apparently be the third iteration of his musical personality.

The series comes at a transitional period for the artist, who has spoken widely of his theatrical ambitions. 2020 Variation cover story It was linked to the release of his blockbuster album “After Hours”. In many ways, “Idol” is the result of the Weeknd’s dark, superstar phase: although he insists he’s not the abusive and misogynistic Svengali Tedros manipulating a pop star, played by Lily Rose Depp, on the show, both career-wise and personally. – worlds away from the nihilistic, sex-obsessed, drug-addicted person who fills most of his songs. He actually says he’s closer to Depp’s character.

“Tedros is a superego that we men want to avoid as much as possible, it’s inside us and we have to kill it,” he says. “Jocelyn is a famous pop star. The people around him, his values ​​and community are all inspired by what I know about the music industry.

“I don’t play myself,” he continues. “But these characters can live in The Weeknd’s universe.”

Helmeting with filmmaker and “Euphoria” auteur Sam Levinson and his producing partner and longtime friend Reza Fahim, the series premieres this month at the Cannes Film Festival and joins HBO’s Sunday night series from June. A previous iteration of Amy Seimetz wearing the helmet was shelved and rebooted, remake in a cost-saving move on The Weeknd’s majestic Beverly Hills mansion. Then, a Rolling Stone article featured multiple insiders calling the show “rape” and “crooked ‘torture porn’,” alongside other colorful terms and reports that a $54 million budget had flown. The Weeknd responded with a funny video mocking Rolling Stone. “I thought the article was nonsense,” Tesfaye says. “I wanted to give a ridiculous answer to that.”

“I mean, it’s not a secret,” she says of the show. “Hollywood is a dark place. That makes great art.”

“I love dark stories, whether it’s Greek mythology, Shakespearean tragedy, or a goddamn Chan-wook Park movie. I enjoy the way they make me feel. It makes me react.”

The article turns to Depp, whom Tesfaye “identifies as the third creator of the series” to defend against the allegations. “I want to leave people the opportunity to be surprised,” Depp says. “I think it’s interesting that people have so much to say about the show but haven’t watched it yet.”

Tesfaye prides herself on fragility in her music. He was calmly devastated. “I always had to bet on myself,” she said. “Even before he was The Weeknd, only when he was alive. As soon as she came out of my mother’s womb, it was ‘Bet yourself’. It won’t be easy, you know?’ And I’m fine with that.

Still, she admitted some of her worries about her next career leap while she was slumped onto a couch in her cavernous living room. “Frustrating,” he said. We were looking out into the backyard, where mist had settled over an infinity pool and gazebo area in the early evening. Tesfaye and Levinson co-wrote on a set of these seats after Levinson temporarily moved. Much of the house can be seen throughout The Idol. When they read about Tesfaye’s television debut, they decided to film it there.

“My music was very cult in the beginning,” Tesfaye said. “And then it started flowing into the mainstream, which then became the voice of the mainstream.”

“There are many musicians who are not that famous and who can definitely dance better than me. But they can’t do what I do as The Weeknd.”

Given these interests, ’80s music continues to fascinate him. “He was hiding what he was saying through all these beautiful melodies,” said Tesfaye, recalling a line his character Tedros sang in a trailer for The Idol: “Pop music is the greatest Trojan horse.”

Instead of accessibility, Tesfaye succeeded thanks to a self-created self-contained world. It got bigger while remaining isolated. “No one dances and sings better than Beyoncé,” she said. “There are many musicians who are not that famous and who can definitely dance better than me. But they can’t do what I do as The Weeknd.”

“I want to give people the opportunity to be surprised,” says Lily-Rose Depp. “I think it’s interesting that people have so much to say about the show but haven’t watched it yet.”

The article’s author didn’t watch a full episode either, just a few excerpts and publicly released trailers, but the first is about Jocelyn and a friend apparently setting up the beginning of her relationship with Tedros. .

“I think I’ll invite Tedros,” Jocelyn says.

His friend says, “He’s such a rapist.”

“Yeah, I like him the way he is.”

Joc, no, it’s disgusting. It is very disturbing.”

Tesfaye and others say there is an explanation for the humor that was not included in the reports.

“What makes it work is his sense of humor,” Depp says.

Tesfaye also illuminates the accounts of the turmoil with Seimetz. “I actually really liked working with Amy,” he says. He said Seimetz’s desire not to rush his first show, along with logistical challenges with his schedule and production timelines, led to renewal. “The shows are remade every day,” adds she. “I know it’s easy for people to be like, ‘Oh, he wanted to be a star’.” (A representative said that Seimetz could not be reached for comment on the article.)

In an email quoted in the article, Levinson said, “HBO put a tremendous amount of autonomy and financial resources on the show, and it just didn’t work. We wanted to explore fame and the music business in all its darkness and absurdity.”

And despite being implied in his recent comments as The Weeknd about wanting to “kill” his person – he is referred to by his real name in most of the article – it is not addressed directly. However, the article mentions that the character who went to the Super Bowl halftime stage with hits like “Blinding Lights” and “Can’t Feel My Face” is a thing of the past, if not Tesfaye himself.

Speaking of his next theatrical project, it’s an eponymous film starring Jenna Ortega and co-directed by Fahim and Trey Edward Shults. But he has been talking about his own directing desire for a long time.

“If I manage, that’s all I’m going to do,” he says. “I won’t be The Weeknd.”

And if that seems vague, it’s probably just what this elusive artist wanted.

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