Really interesting news about The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, who we all know, of course, as a musician, but it’s just been reported that he’s getting into television.
“The Weeknd will try his hand at acting with a drama series from Sam Levinson in development at HBO. The premium cabler is developing The Idol, which the “Blinding Lights” singer, otherwise known as Abel Tesfaye, would star in, co-write and executive produce.
Euphoria creator Levinson co-created the series with Tesfaye and Reza Fahim, a former nightlife entrepreneur-turned-writer who is also The Weeknd’s producing partner.
The series follows a female pop singer who starts a romance with an enigmatic L.A. club owner who is the leader of a secret cult.”
Abel writes his own music, so storytelling is not new for him – but storytelling in this format is another flex. And then, on top of that, he’ll be acting. Which he’s done before, of course he played himself in Uncut Gems; he’s a big fan and friend of the Safdie brothers, and he’s somewhat of a cinephile. So branching out artistically, for him, is a natural artistic extension of his interests.
What’s also intriguing here is that, well, The Weeknd, as a performer, plays different characters, depending on the song, the album, the era. Many of his music videos are styled as short films and they follow a certain narrative, one that he’s developed through the songwriting and then the visual interpretation of the music. And there’s always the question behind the music about how real it is, where the line is between art and truth. So for him, coming into The Idol as an actor, that works well in his favour, not only because he has experience in actually acting but because he’s somewhat of an enigma because of his music-acting. We don’t really know all that much about him, beyond the biographical details, what he’s like, his real mannerisms, his expressions, his body language.
Now he’s creating yet another character, and stepping into it – to camouflage himself even more, or to reveal new details…or a mix of both?
Really looking forward to where he’s taking this. And also, worth noting, he’s working with Sam Levinson who of course showruns Euphoria, which is executive produced by Drake. Obviously Abel and Drake are separate and unique artists, but there are many connections here beyond geography. Wonder whether or not there will be crossover.