Tesfaye will star in the series as a self-help guru, club owner and leader of a modern-day cult, who begins dating an up-and-coming pop artist played by Lily-Rose Depp. Little else is known about the story driving The Idol, but according to its trailer, the series will chronicle “the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood”.
Across just over a minute of footage, viewers are presented with an onslaught of sex, drugs, violence, corruption, choreographed dancing and the declaration that “there’s nothing about [Depp’s as-yet-unnamed character] that’s relatable”. Have a look at the trailer below:
A premiere date for The Idol is yet to be announced, though it’s slated to arrive on HBO Max sometime before the year’s end. In the UK, The Idol will premiere on Sky and streaming service NOW. The first season will consist of six episodes, with the main cast also set to feature Troye Sivan, ex-Disney Channel luminary Debby Ryan and Transparent breakout star Hari Nef.
The show itself was announced last June and began filming that November. Back in April, it was reported that extensive reshoots would be taken out to overhaul its creative direction; HBO confirmed as much, saying in a statement that the series was “adjusting” its cast and crew to serve a new direction.
Tesfaye has a few acting credits to his name. He previously played himself in Josh and Benny Safdie’s 2019 thriller Uncut Gems (where he appeared opposite Adam Sandler), and also made guest appearances in American Dad and The Simpsons.
As The Weeknd, Tesfaye is currently on tour across North America, performing shows on the long-delayed ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ run. It began in Philadelphia on Tuesday (July 14), following the cancellation of a planned gig in Toronto; when Tesfaye learned that a six-year-old boy was distraught over the cancellation, he flew the kid out to see him perform in Philadelphia. Find more details on the full tour here.
The Weeknd’s latest album, ‘Dawn FM’, arrived back in January. In a four-star review, NME’s Rhian Daly said the follow-up to 2020’s ‘After Hours’ “feels like the first steps on a journey for The Weeknd to find peace with himself; perhaps next time we hear from him, he’ll be fully embracing the light of day”.