Criticism is ridiculous. I sacrificed my health and my home’

‘The Idol’ should have been HBO’s new hit. Behind the scenes, success was written in the stars with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and Canadian pop star Abel Tesfaye, 33, aka The Weeknd, and Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, in the lead roles.


But Rolling Stone published a shocking article in March, in which 13 members of the cast and crew expressed their concerns about the series and used words like “toxic,” “rape fantasies” and “torture porn.” The first reviews are also damning, but those who want to form their own opinion can do so starting this week on Streamz, where a new episode will appear every Monday.

– Let’s start with the simple: What is ‘The Idol’?

abel tesfaye “One morning I thought, ‘I’m so famous I could easily start a cult.’ This idea for a TV series about fame and exploitation became conceptualized in my head, and when I presented it to Sam, he was kind of on board with HBO.

– You play as Tedros, a manipulative cult leader who keeps pop star Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) under control. So bad man.

Tesfaye “Who doesn’t want to play the bad guy? so funny! Apparently I don’t look like Tedros. I consider myself more of an underdog or an anti-hero. Because I have always had to deal with criticism, about my music and now about this series as well.

– What did you think of the Rolling Stone piece?

Tesfaye “Ridiculous. People claim I’ve hogged the limelight, but ‘The Idol’ always starts from Jocelyn’s point of view – it’s a series with a female perspective. We’d love to have our director as well Amy siemetz followed halfway through filming, but she left the series due to a scheduling issue.

– Is it also a lie that after he left you scattered all his work and started again?

Tesfaye “Of course it’s true. I didn’t think the relationship between Tedros and Jocelyn was deep enough. So we tried it again, with Sam In the director’s chair. But this is the most common thing in the world of television: the series are constantly being re-recorded. I also don’t release my songs unless they are the best, why should it matter?

» Such reset is expensive. To bring down the cost, we decided to film in and around our villa. My bedrooms had suddenly become meeting places and bathrooms were for makeup. Meanwhile I slept with my dog ​​in another house. Since then living in my villa feels strange: as if Jocelyn’s spirit still haunts it. So I sacrificed my home and even my health to make ‘The Idol’ the best possible series. If it flops, I know: I gave it my all.

– You’re coming to King Bowdoin Stadium on July 11 and 12. This may be his last Belgian appearance as The Weeknd. You’ve already changed your stage name to Abel Tesfaye on Instagram and Twitter.

Tesfaye “I’m really ready to chapter it weekend to leave me behind. I’ll probably put out a more traditional record after I’ve said what I have to say as The Weeknd. Then it is time for my rebirth.”

Now Available on Streamz

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