“I recommended? I’m just the one”

Unrestrained dancing, extreme drinking, sex in all sorts of ways, trays overflowing with coke, night car rides, a toxic love, the disturbing shadow of a sect, choreography and then music, lots of music. Lily-Rose Depp did not miss anything and Cannes is already in fibrillation for the series-event and of which the 23-year-old actress is the protagonist: The Idol, expected at the Festival out of competition in May, then from June 5 exclusively on Sky and streamed on Now. The daughter of Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp (who will open the Festival wearing the Louis XV wig in the film Jeanne du Barry) is joined by record-breaking rapper Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, 33, king of Spotify with 100 million monthly viewers , in the series also author of the soundtrack of which he has just surprisingly released the song Double Fantasy which sees the participation of Future. To complete the picture (and the wait) there is then Sam Levinson, co-creator of The Idol with Reza Fahim and The Weeknd himself: he was among the authors of Euphoria, the most provocative episode story of recent times centered on a group of young people between drugs, sex and assorted transgressions.

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The Idol also focuses on strong emotions, indeed very strong. Lily-Rose plays Jocelyn, a famous pop star whose career is derailed following a mental breakdown but is determined to reclaim her status as America’s hottest and hottest singer. To rekindle his passions comes Tedros (The Weeknd), nightclub manager with a sordid past, obsessed with sex and guru of a kind of very powerful sect. Will he be able to bring her girlfriend back to success, with whom he has embarked on an incendiary love story while her entourage accuses him of having subjugated her through relentless brainwashing? Or is Jocelyn doomed to plummet into the darkest depths of her soul? That’s what viewers will find out. Certainly there is the fact that the series, produced by Hbo, represents the first major opportunity for the young Depp, on the track since he was a teenager but never in leading roles. Instead, she was constantly in the spotlight for his private affairs, from flirting with Timothée Chalamet to defending her father in the trial against the ex Amber Heard.
«The role of Jocelyn put me to the test», Lily-Rose declared in an interview with ID, «but I’ve always dreamed of a character like this: it’s complex and multifaceted, it allowed me to dig into the intimacy of a very different from me remaining completely fascinated by it». In the series, the young actress appears on stage in front of the audience and to bring the highly elaborate choreography to life she reveals that she was inspired not only by contemporary pop stars Beyoncé and Britney Spears but also by the aura of mystery of past divas such as Gene Tierney and Lauren Bacall . Other interpreters of The Idol are Dan Levy, Hari Nef, Hank Azaria, Troye Sivan, Rachel Sennott, Jane Adams, Eli Roth, Mike Dean, Karl Glusman and, in a cameo, Jennie of Blackpink, the South Korean girl band that is very popular on Spotify and Youtube.
If the landing of The Idol first in Cannes and then on Sky is highly anticipated, the making of the series was much talked about. After filming began, in November 2021, director Amy Seimetz (Atlanta, The Girlfriend Experience) officially left office due to creative differences, but some American magazines spoke of a “poisoned climate” on the set. Also according to media rumors, The Weeknd would later complain that in The Idol there was a “feminine preponderance”, in a nutshell that the character of Lily-Rose overshadowed him. Levinson would therefore have taken over by rewriting the script.

There have also been tales of sexual scenes that are “edgeful”, or so politically incorrect (in one, it has been said, Lily-Rose would beg The Weeknd to rape her…) as to make the series look like “torture porn”. All lies, the interested parties replied, from Hbo to the actors themselves. Miss Depp even said that Levinson is “the best director I’ve ever worked with” and that “I’ve never felt so supported and respected in a creative environment that valued my opinions more than ever”. They accuse her of being a nepo-baby, that is, a recommended daughter of art. «Nothing can get you a role if you’re not right», she defends herself, «I know very well that my childhood was not like everyone else’s. But she’s the only one I’ve known and I have to accept her.’ You can’t miss the photo with Papa Johnny in Cannes.

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