The Weeknd Says That ‘Idol’ Sex Scene Isn’t Supposed to Be Sexy: Tedros ‘Comes Off Like Such a Loser’

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains minor spoilers from the second episode of HBO’s “The Idol,” titled “Double Fantasy,” now streaming on Max.

If that sex scene at the end of Episode 2 of HBO’s “The Idol” made you uncomfortable, then Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye accomplished his goal.

Tesfaye, who co-created “The Idol” with “Euphoria’s” Sam Levinson, spoke with GQ after the scene, which features his character Tedros verbally seducing pop star Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), sparked controversy online.

“There’s nothing sexy about it,” Tesfaye told GQ. “However you’re feeling watching that scene, whether it’s discomfort, or you feel gross, or you feel embarrassed for the characters. It’s all those emotions adding up to: this guy is in way over his head, this situation is one where he is not supposed to be here.”

In the scene, Jocelyn strips for Tedros on her bed as he fires off sexually graphic commands that are far too explicit to repeat in this article.

“The sex, it’s so gluttonous,” Tesfaye continued. “Especially in Episode 2. ‘Gluttony’ is the only word I can think of [to describe it]. [Tedros] can’t believe he’s there. He comes off like such a loser. Those moments are the humanity that you find in a psychopath, the chink in his armor.”

In the series, which premiered the second of its five episodes on Sunday, Tesfaye plays a cult-like club magnet who preys on a vulnerable pop icon struggling to create new music after the death of her mother derailed her arena tour.

“You look at him, and this is a score — Jocelyn might be the biggest score he’s ever had. It’s very obvious,” Tesfaye says of Tedros. “He’s over-indulging, he walks into this house looking around like, ‘Goddamn, am I way over my head? This can be the biggest job I’ve ever done.’”

Tesfaye added of his character, “He’s despicable, a psychopath — why sugar coat it? … There’s nothing really mysterious or hypnotizing about him. And we did that on purpose with his look, his outfits, his hair — the guy’s a douchebag. You can tell he cares so much about what he looks like, and he thinks he looks good. But then you see these weird moments of him alone — he rehearses, he’s calculated. And he needs to do that, or he has nothing, he’s pathetic. Which is true of a lot of people who are a fish out of water, put into these scenarios.”

Episode 2 of “The Idol” drew approximately 800,000 viewers, down 12% from the first episode. Though same-day viewing on the series is down, delayed viewing of Episode 1 after one week has outpaced that of “Euphoria” and “The White Lotus.”

“The Idol” airs Sundays on HBO at 6 p.m. PT and is available to stream on Max.

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