‘The Idol’ Isn’t Britney Spears’ Story, Says Sam Levinson; Creator on HBO series controversy; Weeknd compares his character to Dracula

‘The Idol’ Isn’t Britney Spears’ Story, Says Sam Levinson;  Creator on HBO series controversy;  Weeknd compares his character to Dracula

Yes, There’s a Britney Spears Reference in Sam Levinson’s New HBO SeriesThe idoland Lily-Rose Depp plays a Britney-like character looking to get out of her funk, but like the Euphoria The designer said at the Cannes press conference today: “We’re not trying to tell a story about any particular pop star.”

Levinson added: “It’s a lot of pressure – having to be constantly active and be what everyone wants you to be. It’s a lonely life… We can all pretend that everyone is looking out for someone’s best interest, but I think fame really corrupts; it’s really easy to surround yourself with myth makers who continue to support you.

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Levinson said that when he first saw all the information about the controversy over The idol together he knew he had the biggest hit of the summer. A rolling stone The article detailed that production went off the rails with a poor working environment, last-minute script changes, and budget issues, including Levinson abandoning a near-completed $54–75 million project to take over the whole thing.

RELATED: Cannes One To Watch: ‘The Idol’ Star Lily-Rose Depp Channels Old Hollywood to Star in ‘Nasty, Bad Pop Girl’ Series

HBO released a statement in March saying, “The show’s initial approach and production of early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO’s standards, so we elected to make a change. Throughout the process, the creative team was committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful work environment, and in the past year the team made some creative changes that they felt were in the best interest. both from the production, cast and crew.

The idol stars Depp as Jocelyn, a very ambitious Britney Spears-esque protag who has recently caused a stir in the showbiz world. After a nervous breakdown derails her latest tour, she’s determined to claim her rightful status as America’s biggest and sexiest pop star. She meets the character of Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Tedros, a nightclub impresario and “music manager” with a sordid past. They hook up in BDSM style and the album she was on the fence with suddenly gets an immediate remix that night, filled with sounds of her sexual panting (Hello? Britney’s “Gimmie More,” anyone? ). Meanwhile, the team and manager Jocelyn (Hank Azaria) are incredibly suspicious of Tedros.

RELATED: ‘The Idol’ Gets Five-Minute Standing Ovation After Cannes Premiere; Sam Levinson gets emotional in his speech

Levinson mentioned that the Britney reference on the show was basically a publicist explaining how Depp’s pop star can handle a situation.

Depp stressed, “We’re not telling anyone else’s story.” The actress added, “I think something we wanted to do is for her to simultaneously feel like a pop star of our time, but who’s on her own plane.” She mentioned the influences were celebrities like Sharon Stone after Primary instinct and Jeanne Moreau.

RELATED: ‘The Idol’ photo gallery: See Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd on HBO’s Buzzy TV series

Tesfaye explained the concept for the series, “We initially wanted to do a dark, twisted fairy tale with the music industry and everything I know about it and step it up, and take inspiration from the films that me and Sam love – it was really our love for music. When I found out how involved Sam was in the music in Euphoria and working with him on the music for the series, that’s where it unlocked us. Can we create our own pop star? Can we create someone trying to find themselves, using my experiences, using her experiences, using Lily’s experiences to create something special, daring, exciting and fun that will be laughable people, will annoy some people? »

RELATED: Photos of the Cannes Film Festival: gallery of previews and evenings

As for whether Tesfaye has met someone like his club owner and musical director persona, “I don’t think that’s the case.”

“If you had, you wouldn’t be here,” Levinson added.

Tesfaye’s inspiration for the guy? “The first thing I can think of is Dracula,” he joked. “The shot of the door as the door opens, I couldn’t tell if everyone in the theater was laughing,” he added.

In preparing for this character, Levinson went through Tesfaye’s closet, passing through clothes that the musician said were “clothes I never wear.”

Levinson added, “I thought to myself, if this character had all of Abel’s dreams, all of the vision he has for culture, for how to tell a story through music and music video – but none talent. I can’t imagine how frustrating that would be for him. He can’t figure it out on his own. This forces him to find a puppet, so to speak. That’s where it started; that night, the character began to unlock. I’m really excited to see where this show goes.

Levinson said he first saw Tesfaye’s number at the Hollywood Bowl in 2011 or 12. He got to know the entertainer best when he accompanied him on a road trip to a Coachella performance of the years later, witnessing how the artist was preparing for a show, listening to his set list in the car, and taking singing lessons. Weeknd had only been announced on the show a few weeks prior. Levinson recalled him telling her, “‘That’s not my audience.'” The crowd has been in the desert for three days, tired and ready to go home. “‘They’re not here to see me, but I’ll convince them,'” is what Levinson remembers hearing. THE Euphoria The creator saw the performer wow audiences, a completely different act than he had seen a decade earlier. “I thought, ‘Wow, if this is the arc of a career here; he is 32 or 33 years old. This is the first act,” Levinson said.

Detailing the Weeknd show’s other inspirations, Levinson added: “If he can do that, if he can go from being this shy kid behind a mic to being this superstar on stage – he’s got something about him that’s a sur 100 billion. There is something in this motivation, this ambition to convince people, to make them stop thinking about all the bullshit of life, the trials, the tribulations, the work; and to devote themselves to music… That’s where it clicked for me about the subject of this show… It’s about ambition and the drive to be a better artist.

The HBO show screened the first two episodes last night at the Grand Théâtre Lumière and received a five-minute standing ovation, highlighted by a moving speech from Levinson. The series was co-created by Levinson and Tesfaye and Reza Fahim.

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