The Weeknd considers The Idol to be “almost educational” about the price of fame. The HBO drama, which the singer co-created, follows a troubled pop star named Jocelyn, played by Lily-Rose Depp, who becomes seduced and brainwashed by a nightclub owner and cult leader called Tedros.
The Weeknd, who plays Tedros, admitted to Variety that working on the show has made him look at fame differently, and he hopes it will open people’s eyes to what the experience is actually like.
“Well, my goal was for people to feel that way when they watch it, you know, and that they’ll reassess (fame),” he said. “It’s almost educational that this is what comes with being incredibly famous. You’re surrounded by people who you’re not sure what their true intentions are, even if it seems like they’re good. You just never know.”
Noting how his situation is different from Jocelyn’s, he added, “I’ve been very fortunate to have people around me that I’ve known almost my entire life, which is important and is a gift.”
In the show, Jocelyn is surrounded by yes-people, except for Jane Adams’ brutally honest record executive Nikki Katz.
“Nothing is worse than a yes-man, especially when you have a bunch of yes-men around you. And when you see a character like Nikki, who’s not a yes-man, she might seem like a bad person, but then you kind of like her for being honest,” he stated.
”The Idol” has received many negative reviews—with some calling it “hot garbage”—over the course of its broadcast, but the Canadian singer insisted the reaction was “very much expected.”