The Idol raised dust at the Cannes Film Festival. The series, which will premiere on HBO Max on June 4, was presented with all the pomp at the French film buff meeting and had its main participants leaving very spicy texts.
One of them was the one left by The Weeknd, the protagonist: “We aimed to create something special, something fun, to make people laugh. We wanted to upset some people.”
The Canadian popstar used the first person plural because he was accompanied by Sam Levinson and Lily-Rose Depp, creator and co-star of The Idol respectively.
The broadcast of two of the first five episodes corroborated his opinion, since nudity, emission of bodily fluids and the typical sycophants attached to a star in his unstoppable rise abounded on the screen.
“We know that we are doing a program that is provocative. It does not escape us”, reinforced Levinson, who in the previous of this presentation in Cannes had been accused in a report of Rolling Stone to have developed The Idol in a toxic environment in which mistreatment and excessive use of budgets prevailed.
Lily-Rose Depp rejected those allegations of chaos and stood by Levinson. “It’s always a bit sad and discouraging to say mean and untrue things about someone you care about. It did not reflect my experience at all,” said the actress.
What is The Idol, the HBO Max series
In The Idol The focus is on Jocelyn (Depp), a popstar coming out of a psychotic break after the death of her mother.
While trying to get a new album and tour, he goes to a seedy Hollywood club to blow off steam. That’s where she meets Tedros (The Weeknd), a cult leader who offers other alternatives for Jocelyn to return to Olympus from which she should never have gotten off.
“I wanted to do a dark and twisted fantasy about the music industry,” said The Weeknd, who now seeks to be called by his real name: Abel Tesfaye.
Levinson, in turn, defended the “revolutionary” use of nudity in the program: “We live in a very sexualized world. Especially in the United States, the influence of pornography is strong on the psyche of young people. We see this in pop music.”
“When you have a character who has a strong sense of self and a strong sexual self, you end up underestimating him,” he said.
Depp extolled that his Jocelyn is a “born and bred performer,” which means that nudity is important to the character’s genesis. “That extends to all aspects of her life, not just her professional life. The way she dresses is trying to tell you something all the time. The occasional nudity of the character physically reflects the nudity we see emotionally, ”he reinforced.
Like in The Idol it is revealed how the media blamed an exceeded Britney Spears, the idea that the series fictionalizes that punctual life was installed. But at Cannes Levinson denied it: “We are not trying to tell a story about a particular pop star. We are taking a closer look at how the world perceives pop stars and the pressure it puts on that individual.”
Depp stressed that the great tragedy about the price of fame is that ordinary people imagine that they know more about celebrities than they really do. “An interesting thing about exploring the character was asking yourself, ‘What’s going on inside his head?’ Someone who is so watched but unseen… ‘What does she look like when she comes undone?’”
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