In HBO’s controversial new series “The Idol,” Lily-Rose Depp plays a young pop phenom who falls for a self-help guru and modern day cult leader named Tedros (played by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye). Depp recently told Entertainment Weekly that no one in “The Idol” cast went “full Method [actor],” but that doesn’t mean some of them didn’t go at least half. Or that what it sounds like, at least.
“I don’t think anybody went full method — nobody lost their minds,” Depp said. “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.’”
The Weeknd said to W magazine last month that inhabiting Tedros’ headspace during the making of “The Idol” had real-world consequences on his singing. Last September, he had to cut short a concert in Los Angeles because he lost his voice.
“I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’s wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being the Weeknd,” the singer said. “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.”
“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.”
While “The Idol” clearly goes to some dark places, Depp stressed to Entertainment Weekly that “the vibe on set was quite lighthearted,” adding, “We’re all really good friends and we all are similar people and really understand each other. We were having a lot of laughs, listening to a lot of music, dancing around, and that kind of energy is what made the heavier moments easier and possible.”
“The Idol” world premiered its first two episodes at the Cannes Film Festival. While the series earned a five-minute standing ovation, it also ignited controversy for its graphic nudity and sex scenes.
“It was the first time that I had watched it with a [big] audience,” Lily-Rose told ET Canada about the Cannes premiere. “But it was incredible. It felt like such a beautiful celebration and a culmination of everything that we’ve been through together, and just kind of a beautiful process that was in the show, and creating this little family together, and it just felt really, really nice.”
“The Idol” debuts June 4 on HBO.