Lily-Rose Depp Says ‘The Idol’ Nudity Is ‘Really Intentional’ and ‘Really Important to Me’: ‘I’m Not Scared of It’June 28, 2023
Lily-Rose Depp says the nudity on “The Idol” is “really intentional” and she was never uncomfortable stripping down on set to film the series’ numerous sex scenes. The HBO series has ignited controversy over the last four weeks due to its graphic content and frequent nudity. Depp is often at the center of the show’s most risqué scenes as the show’s lead character, a pop star named Jocelyn who falls under the control of a sinister nightclub owner (Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye).
“For me, the whole character and the show and her arc was really a collaboration through and through,” Depp recently told Vogue Australia. “We know that we’re making something provocative and we are not shying away from that. That’s something I knew I was setting out to do from the beginning. I was never interested in making something puritanical. It’s okay if this show isn’t for everyone and that’s fine — I think all the best art is [polarizing].”
“I’ve never felt more respected and more safe on a set, honestly,” Depp added. “And I think the trust that we all built with each other, you and I, and Sam and I, and Abel and I, that can only make for a really safe-feeling set. So when it comes to the nudity and the risqué nature of the role, that to me was really intentional. That was really important to me and something that I was excited about doing. I’m not scared of it. I think we live in a highly sexualized world. I think that’s an interesting thing to explore.”
While “The Idol” has generated non-stop controversy due to its graphic scenes, its creators have continued to stress that pushing buttons is intentional. The show’s second episode included a highly uncomfortable sex scene between Depp and Tesfaye that he told GQ was intended to make viewers’ skin crawl. In the scene, Jocelyn strips for Tesfaye’s character on her bed as he fires off sexually graphic commands.
“There’s nothing sexy about it,” Tesfaye said. “However you’re feeling watching that scene, whether it’s discomfort, or you feel gross, or you feel embarrassed for the characters. It’s all those emotions adding up to: this guy is in way over his head, this situation is one where he is not supposed to be here.
“The sex, it’s so gluttonous,” he continued. “Especially in Episode 2. ‘Gluttony’ is the only word I can think of [to describe it]. [Tedros] can’t believe he’s there. He comes off like such a loser. Those moments are the humanity that you find in a psychopath, the chink in his armor.”
“The Idol” airs its season finale on July 2 at 9pm ET on HBO. The series also streams on Max.
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