The Weeknd Discusses “The Idol” And His “Provocative” Nature In “Interview Magazine” Cover Story

The Canadian’s forthcoming HBO series is set to premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

BYHayley Hynes
The Weeknd Discusses “The Idol” And His “Provocative” Nature In “Interview Magazine” Cover Story

He's best known to the world as The Weeknd, but before the fame and fortune, he was simply Abel Tesfaye. Now, the Starboy hitmaker is one of the most well-known recording artists of all time, as well as an actor and producer in his own right. We first saw his chops alongside Adam Sandler and Julia Fox in the Safdie brother's Uncut Gems, but for his latest project, we'll be seeing Tesfaye take the lead in HBO's The Idol with the help of director Sam Levinson. Ahead of the long-awaited show's premiere, the multi-talent graces the cover of the latest edition of Interview Magazine to discuss his work, among other exciting topics.

"What drew me to play him was just getting to pretend to be someone else. It was a challenge, because The Weeknd, obviously, isn't me," Tesfaye said of his creepy cult-leader character, who enchants Lily Rose-Depp in The Idol. "But I drew a lot from myself to create that character. Tedros is nothing like me... Vulnerability is key in the characters you play, no matter how evil they are. If you can find the vulnerability in them, somehow they become likable."

The Weeknd Introduces Abel Tesfaye

Elsewhere in his interview, the 33-year-old addressed the sometimes controversial nature of his past work, following Rolling Stone's noteworthy criticism of his forthcoming show. "I've been judged since the beginning. My stuff's always kind of been provocative," Tesfaye recalled. Though it's not always easy, the "After Hours" artist has realized that hate comes with the territory. "As an artist, you have to know that you can't please everybody, and you have to accept that it comes with the job."

Along with the HBO project, Tesfaye has been tapping back into his musical persona to prepare an accompanying album for the show. "There's a whole album. I'm not shying away from making music. It's just adding another element to my already crowded schedule," he dished to Interview. Keep scrolling to check out more from The Weeknd's latest cover story for the magazine. Afterward, let us know if you'll be tuning into The Idol upon its debut in the comments.

More Interview Magazine Content

[Via] [Via]

  • Link Copied to Clipboard!
About The Author
Hayley Hynes is the Weekend Managing Editor of HotNewHipHop, and has been since 2021. She began writing for the website that same year, primarily covering content in the Music, Pop Culture, and Streetwear niches after graduating from Vancouver’s Blanche Macdonald Centre with a Fashion Marketing Diploma. She previously reported on Travel, Entertainment, Beauty, and News at Narcity Canada for over three years. Hayley has also contributed articles and interviews within these realms to Folklr Magazine and the Calgary Journal while studying Journalism at Mount Royal University. In her spare time, she freelances for Bandbox Vinyl, having already interviewed hip-hop icons like Atmosphere and explored Syd’s discography. Hayley also uses her expansive pop culture knowledge and passion for astrology/self-enhancement to help others explore their curiosity in an ongoing Instagram video series. Among her favourite hip-hop artists are A$AP Rocky, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, and Mac Miller.