The Weeknd Claims He Forgot How To Sing After Method Acting For “The Idol”

By Madison E. Goldberg
Abel Tesfaye, The Weeknd, Lily Rose Depp, Sam Levinson, The Idol, Cannes
(Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic)
"The Idol" has already received widespread backlash.

Abel Tesfaye, known as the multi-Grammy winning R&B fusion artist The Weeknd, is making his producing debut in Max’s “The Idol.” Following the show’s debut at Cannes, the artist revealed that he took method acting so far that he “forgot how to sing” and had to cancel his first show as the Weeknd in the history of his career. This comes after Tesfaye recently announced his plan to  “kill the Weeknd”, opting to perform under his true persona instead.

The show places Tesfaye in his first starring role, after making several appearances in “Uncut Gems” and “American Dad!” and “The Simpsons.” The musician turned actor will portray a fictional self-help cult leader named Tedros in the Sam Levinson-directed series. Tesfaye’s character begins a complicated relationship with pop star Jocelyn (Lily Rose Depp). The first two episodes earned a  five minute standing ovation at Cannes, but the court of public opinion has other thoughts.

After 13 crew members came forward to  Rolling Stone months ago with allegations of unethical working conditions and a sexually violent script, viewers are already shy of watching the program. Director-writer Sam Levinson, notably of Euphoria, continued to defend the show’s creative choices at a Cannes press conference.

Online Reactions To The Weeknd’s Statement

Many took Tesfaye’s comments to be an attempt at validating the quality of  “The Idol.” The show has been criticized by both critics and onlookers alike, with several referring to the plot as an “abuse fantasy.” The show also received a 20% on  Rotten Tomatoes, decreasing to a 9% from critics.

Aside from the controversial content, the accelerated writing and shooting schedule in wake of writer Amy Seimetz’ replacement has some questioning the quality of the show.

Others are drawing comparisons to another artist who recently bowed out of performing mid-show. Frank Ocean cancelled his second Coachella performance after a convoluted set on the first day.

Many feel that the Weeknd’s statements surrounding “The Idol” are excessive, given that it is his first major acting and producing credit.

Moviegoers continue to criticize method acting after Austin Butler continues to speak in an Elvis Presley accent after portraying the late legend in Baz Luhrman’s “Elvis” biopic. Some feel that The Weeknd may be entering similar territory.

“The Idol” premieres to general audiences on June 4 on Max.