Abel Tesfaye, formerly known as The Weeknd, said he was dead set on cooking up a series that would make fans laugh and cry.
On Tuesday, May 23, Tesfaye joined co-creator Sam Levinson and co-star Lil Rose-Depp for a press conference ahead of the debut of "The Idol." According to Deadline, he shared his thoughts about the series' overall concept, and even compared his character to "Dracula."
"We initially wanted to make a dark, twisted fairy tale with the music industry and everything I know about it and heighten it, and take inspirations from films that both me and Sam love — it was really our love for music," Tesfaye explained.
"When I found out how much Sam is involved in the music in Euphoria and getting to work with him on the music on the show, that’s when it unlocked it for us," Tesfaye continued. "Can we create our own pop star? Can we create somebody who is trying to find themselves, using my experiences, using his experiences, using Lily’s experiences on creating something special, daring and exciting and fun that will make people laugh, piss some people off?”
His latter question may have already been answered. Months before the show made its debut, a detailed report from Rolling Stone laid out several examples of the show's alleged toxic environment, last-minute changes and other budget issues during production raised some eyebrows. Tesfaye, Levinson and the team didn't seem be too bothered by the allegations. Tesfaye posted an exclusive clip from the show, in which his character shades the outlet. Meanwhile, Levinson's instant reaction upon seeing the report was that they may have the "biggest hit of the summer."
The creators of the show and its star also confirmed that the show doesn't tell the story of any particular artist, yet comparisons to Britney Spears continue to float around as more scenes from the show hit the 'Net. "The Idol" debuted the first two episodes at Cannes Film Festival in France and reportedly received a five-minute standing ovation. The show debuts on HBO on June 4.