Sam Levinson the Creator of “The Idol,” Talks About Lily-Rose Depp’s Debut Performance and How the Hbo Show Casts “Skepticism” On Celebrities!

Now the Idol is finally here. Sunday, HBO showed the first episode of the show from Euphoria’s creator, Sam Levinson, which has been a bit controversial. The first episode, called “Pop Tarts and Rat Tails,” introduces the audience to Jocelyn, played by Lily-Rose Depp. She is a world superstar who had a nervous breakdown but is now ready to go on tour again. The first shot of the episode is a close-up of Jocelyn’s face as she listens to instructions from a photographer. He tells her how to show different feelings, from happy to sad to scared.

“The first shot of the show, I think, tells you everything you need to know about Jocelyn and how talented she is as an actress,” Levinson said in a segment about making the series that played after the episode. “She can laugh on cue and cry on cue. You can see how good this figure is at manipulating our feelings. “What’s so great about Lily’s performance is that, even though she tells you that right away, you forget how she’s able to trick the audience.”

The camera moves out, and we can see that this is part of a picture shoot for her new album. As Jocelyn lays on a table in a red, backless silk robe (inspired by a Slim Aarons photo of Marilyn Monroe), the intimacy planner rushes over to make sure she follows her nudity rider. She tries to explain that she doesn’t mind showing more of her body, but then the men in the room argue about whether it’s appropriate for her to have her robe open in the pictures.

As the episode goes on, it becomes clear how many people are making choices for Jocelyn, often without her involvement at all. From her assistant to the music label to her many publicists, Jocelyn is often the last person to know information about her own life.

Lily-Rose Depp’s

When a writer from Vanity Fair asks who she answers to, Jocelyn says, “God.” But it’s clear that she isn’t as free as she might like to think. That is until she meets Tedros, a nightclub promoter played by Abel Tesfaye (also known as The Weeknd) with a dark past.

“Jocelyn is a pop star who is constantly surrounded by people she doesn’t know if she can trust,” Depp said in the same piece, adding that Tedros “gives her a freedom she hasn’t felt in a while.”

Jocelyn feels an instant connection to Tedros, but it’s not clear what his goals are.

“When Tedros comes over, you can tell how badly he wants to be taken seriously. He wants to be smooth.”Yet there’s something about him that Jocelyn finds attractive,” Levinson said.


A sneak peek at the rest of the series shows that Tedros will start to have a lot of power over Jocelyn, and she will start to push away the team around her as she gets closer to him.

In the segment after the show, Levinson said that he and Tesfaye started talking about the idea for The Idol not long after finishing Season 2 of Euphoria. In the end, he said, the series is about “an artist who feels stuck, who also feels pressured by the expectations of the world at large, and who is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to say.”

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“The cinematic approach is actually based on reality television since that’s how we usually see celebrities,” he said. “Part of what this show is about is having a little bit more doubt about the celebrities we ultimately idolize.”The Idol airs on HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. It is also shown on Max at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

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