The Weeknd to Star in New HBO Series
The Weeknd is making a move to television, with the musician set to star in the upcoming HBO drama series The Idol. Variety reports that The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, will also co-write the project, which follows a female pop singer who begins a relationship with an enigmatic L.A. club owner who is also the leader of a secret cult.
The series was co-created by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson along with The Weekend and Reza Fahim, The Weeknd's producing partner and a former nightlife entrepreneur-turned-writer. Joseph Epstein will be the showrunner and The Weeknd will executive produce alongside his manager Wassim "SAL" Slaiby and creative director La Mar C. Taylor, Levinson, Fahim, Epstein, Ashley Levinson, Kevin Turen and Aaron L. Gilbert. Mary Laws will write and co-executive produce. The Weeknd previously wrote and starred in an episode of the TBS animated series American Dad in 2020 and played himself in the 2019 film Uncut Gems.
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It's unclear what role The Weeknd will be playing in the upcoming show, though judging by the fact that he's being billed as one of the series' stars, it's possible that he will be playing the cult leader in question. The singer is primarily known for his growing number of hit songs, including the 2020 smash "Blinding Lights." Earlier this year, he headlined the Super Bowl halftime show after breaking a number of records on the Billboard charts. He also concluded his After Hours era, the visuals for which saw him playing a bloodied and bandaged character eventually revealed to have undergone plastic surgery.
"The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated," he previously told Variety. "It's all a progression and we watch the Character's storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on."
After The Weeknd was not nominated for any Grammy Awards despite the incredible success of After Hours, he announced in March that he will no longer submit his name for consideration at the annual show. "Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys," he said in a statement to The New York Times after calling the Grammys "corrupt" in a November 2020 tweet.