Lily-Rose Depp Reveals She Sometimes Had To ‘Steer Clear’ Of The Weeknd On The Idol Set

Lily-Rose Depp

Nepo baby in denial Lily-Rose Depp says she had to “steer clear” of Abel “the Weeknd” Tesfaye while they were shooting HBO’s controversial new series The Idol. And you know what? I don’t blame her!

In case you don’t know what The Idol is because, like me, you couldn’t give a fat rat’s about another show helmed by Sam Levinson (AKA the evil, horny mind behind Euphoria), let me bring you up to speed.

The five-episode series follows pop singer Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) as she tries to re-establish her career following a mental breakdown. She falls for Tedros (Tesfaye), a sleazebag who owns a nightclub and runs a cult — a resumé which leaves shit no place to hit but the fan for old mate Joss.

Because he was, you know, playing a cult leader with a dark, mysterious past, Depp told Entertainment Weekly that Tesfaye could sometimes get a bit … in his thoughts.

“I don’t think anybody went full method — nobody lost their minds,” Lily-Rose 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’.”

Considering the only cult leaders I know of are Charles Manson, Jim Jones and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (just the main ones, you know), I too would keep out of Tesfaye’s way when the bloke was in character. Stay away from her, get a job, et cetera.

Tesfaye told W Magazine last month that there was a moment where he had to play two characters — Tedros and the Weeknd — in one night and it had some pretty hectic consequences.

Last September, a scene from The Idol was being filmed during a concert the Weeknd was performing in Los Angeles, so Tesfaye had to juggle two characters at once.

 “I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’s wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being the Weeknd,” he 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. 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.”

Wild. Was Tesfaye possessed by the spirit of Tedros or did he simply come down with a spot of laryngitis? Either way, my tinfoil hat is firmly on.

The Idol has been mired by controversy for a hot minute. Rolling Stone published a lengthy report in March detailing claims from 13 members of the cast and crew that Levinson’s creative vision was disgusting and twisted.

The series was set to be directed by Amy Seimetz but she left the project in April 2021 amid production issues. Enter Sam Levinson, whose new vision for The Idol featured scenes that resembled “sexual torture porn” and felt like “any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show”, according to the sources who spoke to Rolling Stone.

Both Lily-Rose Depp and Tesfaye have pooh-poohed these allegations, with the former even telling Vanity Fair that Levison is “the best director I have ever worked with”.

The Idol will be released in Australia on June 5, with new episodes dropping every Monday. You’ll be able to stream it on BINGE or Foxtel Now.

Image credit: Getty Images / Marc Piasecki