After the third episode of “The Idol,” series co-creator Sam Levinson described how he developed the creepy, awkward and ambitious cult leader Tedros played by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye.
“We’re in Abel’s house, we’re talking it through, imagining the character Tedros,” Levinson said, in the series’ “Crafting the Family” featurette on Max. “And I would say, ‘Imagine you have all of the dreams that you have of what you want to do in life, in terms of music, and your career, all of the aspirations — but imagine you have none of the talent. That’s who this character is.’”
Tesfaye described the character similarly in a recent interview.
“There’s nothing really mysterious or hypnotizing about him,” he said. “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.”
In the Max featurette, Levinson also spoke about how Lily-Rose Depp’s troubled singer Jocelyn could be manipulated by both the music industry and Tedros.
“Think of a pop star like a prized horse,” Levinson said. “Everyone wants to keep her on track. They don’t want to derail her because she’s gotta perform. The entire world is an illusion. It’s about, I think in many ways, the myth-makers, the people around who kind of construct this reality that may or may not be true.”
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