The Weeknd doesn’t do anything small, from his notoriously catchy songs (we’ve still got “Blinding Lights” stuck in our heads) to his famously big stage productions. Why would his acting career be any different?
Variety reports, the music superstar’s series The Idol has been picked up by HBO, with The Weeknd as co-creator, star, executive producer and co-writer. Amy Seimetz (Atlanta) will executive produce, as well as direct all six episodes. Sam Levinson from Euphoria is also executive producing, which makes sense, because the series sounds like it has the same sort of dark vibe.
“Set against the backdrop of the music industry, the series centers on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult, who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop idol.”
Co-starring Lily-Rose Depp (Voyagers), The Idol cast includes series regulars Suzanna Son (Red Rocket), Troye Sivan (Boy Erased) and Steve Zissis (Togetherness). Melanie Liburd (Power Book II: Ghost), Tunde Adebimpe (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Saved by the Bell), Nico Hiraga (Booksmart) and Anne Heche (The Best of Enemies) are all recurring.
We’re not surprised The Weeeknd is transitioning to acting, we’re only surprised it took him this long. His live performances and music videos are extremely theatrical and artistic, so acting seems like a natural career progression. However, we will admit we’re a little worried about him taking on so much creative control of the series. We know he’ll be working with experienced TV producers, so hopefully they can take the lead on actual scripts and story arcs.
“When the multi-talented Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye, Reza Fahim and Sam Levinson brought us The Idol, it was clear their subversive, revelatory take on the cult of the music industry was unlike anything HBO had ever done before,” said Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming. “Shortly after, the brilliant duo of Joe Epstein and Amy Seimetz joined forces with the rest of the team, and this dream became a reality.”
The Weeknd started the year off with his spectacular performance at the halftime show of Super Bowl LV. From there he released his latest hit “Take My Breath,” and finally announced his long delayed summer stadium tour.
Honestly, we don’t know how he’s going to find the time to make a TV show.