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Lily-Rose Depp reveals details of filming The Idol with The Weeknd: 'I would steer clear'

The Idol on HBO was the subject of a Rolling Stone expose

Lily Rose Depp and The Weeknd in The Idol
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca LewisReporterLos Angeles
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Lily-Rose Depp has revealed she would often "steer clear" of The Weeknd when on the set of their new HBO show The Idol because he would be "in his zone" as his character, an enigmatic L.A. club owner and self-help guru. 

The show, which has been criticized by many after a Rolling Stone expose alleged claims of a toxic environment on set and creative clashes, follows Lily-Rose's character, Jocelyn, a young pop star who is looking to make a comeback after her career was detailed. 

Lily Rose Depp and The Weeknd star in The Idol

"I don't think anybody went full method — nobody lost their minds," the 23-year-old told EW in a new interview, before adding: "Well, sometimes when Abel would get — I don't want to reveal too much about where Abel's character goes, but when he would be in full Tedros mode sometimes, I would steer clear of him. I'd be like, 'He's in his zone right now.'" 

She also praised the singer - real name Abel Tesfaye - and director Sam Levinson, acknowledging that although the show explores "darker themes and has some pretty heavy emotional moments to it… the vibe on set was quite lighthearted". 

Lily Rose Depp and The Weekend as Jocelyn and Tedros© HBO
Lily Rose Depp and The Weekend as Jocelyn and Tedros

Lily shared that on set there were a lot of laughs, and music and dancing, and said that this "energy is what made the heavier moments easier and possible". Along with Lily and the 'Blinding Lights' singer, other stars slated to appear include Troye Sivan, Debby Ryan, Dan Levy, Rachel Sennott, and BlackPink's Jennie. 

"Sam is, for so many reasons, the best director I have ever worked with," Lily-Rose said in a statement in April after the allegations against Sam and the production emerged. 

"Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued. Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every way - it matters to him, more than anything, not only what his actors think about the work, but how we feel performing it," she continued. "He hires people whose work he esteems and has always created an environment in which I felt seen, heard, and appreciated." 

Lily Rose Depp as Jocelyn in The Idol© HBO
Lily Rose defended the show's director Sam Levinson

HBO also defended the show, as did superstar Abel.

"The creators and producers of The Idol have been working hard to create one of HBO's most exciting and provocative original programs," the network's statement read. "The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change." 

The statement continued: "Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment, and last year, the team made creative changes they felt were in the best interest of both the production and the cast and crew. We look forward to sharing The Idol with audiences soon."

Sam Levinson, Lily-Rose Depp and Abel 'The Weeknd' Tesfaye attend at Cannes Film Festival© Marc Piasecki
Sam Levinson, Lily-Rose Depp and Abel 'The Weeknd' Tesfaye attend at Cannes Film Festival

The allegations came from 13 unnamed sources of cast and crew who accused Euphoria creator Sam of making drastic story changes after he replaced former director Amy Seimetz in April 2022, including new scripts that contained "disturbing sexual and physically violent scenes". 

The Idol will air on June 9 on HBO.

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