Lily-Rose Depp is assuring audiences that “The Idol” wasn’t an exercise in Method acting.
The already-controversial HBO series, which premiered at Cannes, has been compared to porn and rape fantasy play, but lead star Depp is adamant that nobody in the cast “lost their minds” during production.
“I don’t think anybody went full Method — nobody lost their minds,” Depp told Entertainment Weekly.
Depp plays pop star Jocelyn who falls in love with twisted nightclub owner Tedros, portrayed by series co-creator Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye.
“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,” Depp admitted “I’d be like, ‘He’s in his zone right now.’”
“The Idol” underwent extensive reshoots after series director Amy Seimetz parted ways with production. Co-creator Sam Levinson took over directing duties for the five-episode series. Depp called the production process a “lighthearted” experience despite the heaviness of the series content.
“For something that does, of course, explore darker themes and has some pretty heavy emotional moments to it and everything, the vibe on set was quite lighthearted,” Depp said. “We’re all really good friends and we all are similar people and really understand each other. We were having a lot of laughs, listening to a lot of music, dancing around, and that kind of energy is what made the heavier moments easier and possible, because whenever you knew that there was a bigger, emotional scene coming up, you felt like you were surrounded by people that you feel comfortable with, people that have your back, and you feel that in the show.”
Director Levinson defended the show against rumors of on-set chaos while at Cannes.
“We know we are making a show that is provocative,” Levinson said. “Especially in the States, the influence of pornography is really strong in terms of the psyche of young people in the States. And we see this in pop music and how it reflects the kind of underbelly of the internet in some ways. I think with this show and with working with Lily, we had a lot of discussions about who she is as a person, who [her character] Jocelyn is as a person [and] from that point, the sexuality comes out of that character. I think it is very true to what almost every pop star is doing these days.”